ERA of Inclusive Gender Equality conference deliberates future priorities



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In celebration of the International Day of Girls and Women in Science, the ERA of Inclusive Gender Equality conference was hosted at BOSA, Brussels on 13 February 2024. The conference was organised by the Horizon Europe GENDERACTIONplus project under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The event attracted over 60 attendees in person with a substantial online audience joining remotely. 

The moderator Moa Persdotter, Vinnova with panellists Marcela Linková, MS Co-Chair, ERA Forum Subgroup on Inclusive Gender Equality, Anna Wahl, Royal Institute of Technology and Anne Pépin, Gender Sector Team Leader, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission.

The conference convened key stakeholders to deliberate on future priorities for inclusive gender equality in the European Research Area (ERA), leveraging insights from GENDERACTIONplus benchmark studies and a position paper drafted to inform the debates about further actions and measures. The position paper identifies current challenges, states our ultimate goals for advancing inclusive gender equality in ERA, and provides a framework for shaping future policies. It focuses on issues of intersectionality and inclusiveness, gender-based violence in research and innovation, the integration of inclusive gender dimension in research and innovation, and on monitoring and evaluation of Gender Equality Plans.

Marcela Linková, the Project Coordinator and Member State Co-Chair of the ERA Forum Subgroup on Inclusive Gender Equality, emphasized the critical developments of recent years while highlighting the need to ensure that inclusive gender equality remains a priority in the upcoming period. Positioning the conference, she stressed that “the debates were intended to be part of the mosaic of the first inputs into the debate on Framework Programme 10”. Marcela also cautioned that developments toward gender equality can be “dismantled with surprising ease and alacrity” and recalled the “simplification” of gender equality provisions from Framework Programme 6 to Framework Programme 7.

In addition to representatives of national authorities and research funders participating in the GENDERACTIONplus project, the speakers at the conference included Sergej Možina, the Member State Co-Chair of the ERA Forum who noted the high level of support among Member States for inclusive gender equality in the current negotiations of ERA Policy Agenda 2025 – 2027.  Anne Pepin from the DG RTD’s Gender Sector highlighted the planned rollout of the legal compliance checks of Gender Equality Plans under Horizon Europe and Prof Genevieve Almouzni, the Chair of the ERC Working Group on Gender and Diversity discussed the ongoing actions in ERC to address gender biases in research evaluation. This was a topic that also resonated with Professor Silvia Penati, the Scientific Leader of the newly established TIER Working Group on Inclusive Research Assessment in the CoARA Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment.

Participants from all over Europe participated in dialogue about future priorities for gender equality in the EU.

VA (Public & Science) a partner and responsible for stakeholder engagement within the GENDERACTIONplus project, was involved in the organisation of interactivity and exchanges at the conference. During the event, both onsite and online attendees were invited to provide feedback on the position paper and on issues needing further actions to achieve an inclusive and gender equal European Research Area. 

Participants found the conference to be impactful, stressing the quality of debates, networking and the practical knowledge gained, for example, about strategies to adopt intersectional perspective at national authority level or good practices to integrate intersectionality in GEPs at RPO level.

A recording of the conference is available to watch online at the GENDERACTIONplus YouTube channel here or at the top of the page.

Public & Science Sweden

Areas of interest


Helen Garrison

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Maria Hagardt

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