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The Americans were the first to get organised with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) which was established in 1971. Ten years later this was the basis for a Congressional decree promoting equal opportunities in science and technology. Europe followed suit in the 1980s, especially with the new British network known as AWiSE (the final 'E' standing for Engineering). Today women scientists have come together in a number of national and international networks concerned with general problems of equal opportunities or more specific research issues. In addition to study activities they also take practical actions (especially lobbying) and centralise valuable information, on careers and research aid for example.
A Network Guide presenting 70 networks is available on the Research DG's Women and Sciences site at

Recommended reading

Science policies in the European Union: Promoting excellence through mainstreaming gender equality
Written by a group of scientists from the ETAN (European Technology Assessment Network) network, this report looks at how European research takes the gender dimension into account and analyses the present place of women in this field. Combining statistics, personal testimonies, practices (good and less good), this work is likely to be of interest at every level - to those in industry, decision-makers, scientists and politicians - and proposes a number of very concrete ways of establishing equality between men and women in research and, more widely, in science and technology.
This document is available in English, French and Italian and can be downloaded from:


Nicole Dewandre
Fax : +32-2-299 37 46

European Commission
Directorate-General for Research
Research DG contacts
Information and communication Unit
Fax: +32 2 295 82 20
Rue de la Loi, 200 / Wetstraat, 200
B-1049 Bruxelles / Brussel

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