21-22 October 2004, Sofia, Bulgaria
The main aim of the conference was to facilitate the exchange of experience regarding national initiatives, examples of good and best practice, programs and policy developments in the field women in science and to trigger thus a stronger integration of SEE non-EU-member states in EU activities in the field of “Women and Science”.
In most European countries, there are proportionately more female than male graduates, but women and female researchers remain under-represented in science and in decision-making bodies. This under-representation of women in science is both a waste of human resources and a serious obstacle for the development of the sciences and for European society as a whole – a fact that has been pointed out also by the Helsinki Group on Women and Science and the ENWISE (Enlarge ‘Women in Science’ to East) expert group which has been set up by the European Commission.
The organisers of this conference are convinced that the situation of women in science in Southeastern European countries deserves special attention too, because of their specific historic and cultural background as well as because of the fact that these countries are intended to become EU member states in the long run and thus part of European Research Area, where synergies between national and regional policies and actions, strengthening the participation of women in science and mainstreaming gender equality in scientific institutions should be sought.
The conference was attended by more than 75 women experts, coordinators of major international projects, researchers, leaders of universities and research institutions: the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Technical University of Vienna, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, the Ministry of Education Science and Sport of Slovenia, the Ministries of Education and Science of Macedonia, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Croatia, Albania and Bulgaria. The three main panels discussed the topics of European and national framework to promote women in science, Initiatives and programs – sharing experiences and Perspectives for future activities and programs. All materials will be posted on the Internet page of Austrian Science and Research Office: www.aso.zsi.at. The next step which will allow further development of the discussed topics will be the the preparation of a book, containing the reports.
The participants were welcome by Ms. Roberta Schaller-Steidl from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture, Ms. Jordanka Kuzmanova, President of the Bulgarian Rectors' Conference, Rector of the Agrarian University Plovdiv, Mr. Martin Felix Gajdusek, Head of ASO Sofia and Mrs. Tatyana Kmetova, Executive Director of the Center of Women's Studies and Policies. Among the official guests were Mr. Naum Yakimov, General Secretary of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Ms. Genoveva Jecheva, Expert from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science.
The keynote speeches of Marina Blagojevic, ENWISE gender expert and Nikolina Sretenova from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who represents Bulgaria in this group, focused on different aspect and major findings of the ENWISE Report, which had been represented in September at the International Valorisation Conference in Tallinn.
The conference was organized by the Austrian Science and Research Liaison Offices (ASOs) Ljubljana and Sofia and Center of Women’s Studies and Policies, Sofia with the kind financial support of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in the framework of its SEE science cooperation initiative.
Program: Programme_Conference.pdf (77.22 Kb)
Minutes of the first panel: Women_in_science_minutes.pdf (28.5 Kb)