We cannot ignore the need for change and the urgent need for a strategic vision for reform. Presently, many EU Member States are introducing reforms to the health and social sector that are designed to improve the relevance, sustainability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of the current ‘silo system’, which is not sex and gender sensitive.

The professional fields in which women are more present are health and social work activities, services and education. The nursing profession is a clear example of this trend, with 92% of the workforce being women. As such, knowing that women can play an influential role for positive change, designing an innovative health and social care ecosystem, it is key to ensure a higher participation of women in co-design, and better access to EU funding.

The European Commission DG Research, Science and Innovation is committed to promoting gender equality in research and innovation, as part of its Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, which sets out the Commission’s broader commitment to equality across all EU policies. Due to the specificities of the research sector, concrete action is needed to overcome the gender gaps. This is translated by the European Commission by:

  • Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027) – which sets gender equality as a crosscutting priority;
  • European Research Area in collaboration with member states and research organisations – for which Gender equality in research and innovation is a priority.

Gender equality plans will gradually become part of the eligibility criteria for public bodies, research organisations and higher education establishments applying to the programme. The ENRF strongly supports women in research and calls for European research and innovation funding instruments to better integrate female researchers!