Full text 
Procedure : 2007/2206(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0165/2008

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 20/05/2008 - 20
CRE 20/05/2008 - 20

Votes :

PV 21/05/2008 - 5.10
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Tuesday, 20 May 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

20. Women and science (debate)

  Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (PPE-DE ).(FR) Mr President, Commissioner, I think that our goal is the same, we want to achieve parity, but we are not unanimous about how to achieve it.

Commissioner, your statistics are well put together, they prove that the road is long and laborious and that you have done the right thing by introducing quotas for nominations in committees, because, without a proactive policy, we will not find women, because in order to find them we first need to have the will to find them.

So the higher up the ladder we climb, the more reticence there is about appointing women, and what is entirely ill adapted and illogical is that in the education sector women are largely in the majority, but in academic environments they are absent.

So why is this the case? I think that an analysis needs to be done. We need to invite the Member States, and perhaps the Commissioner could put some pressure on the Member States to establish a degree of benchmarking to clarify the situation in their universities.

Often selection processes for professors do not have the same criteria. Women are always asked the question: ‘What childcare arrangements will you make?’ Men are never asked this question and therefore in this debate we are all talking about out childcare responsibilities. Would this also be the case if we were talking about men? Why is it that we do not turn the problem around, and, moreover, it is not a problem. Having a family is a great joy, it is a treasure, for men too; why should we not change our views?

I think that the appointment of professors should be reviewed, along with the process and the questions that are asked and, in order to make progress in the fields of new technologies, the Commission should take targeted action. Regarding the excellence criteria, I do not think that we can make any allowances.

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