International Conference « Gender Equality in STI: Progress and Challenges »,
devoted to the 10th anniversary of BASNET Forumas, the regional Baltic States women scientists association
Vilnius Seimas (Parliament),
Lithuania, 18-19 March 2019
The audience of this Conference, from the three Baltic States, consisted in women scientists and representatives of the organisations that participated in the BASNET project, as well as have been supporting BASNET Forumas association activities. Because of their strong links with BASNET Forumas, the EU DG Research Gender Sector representative, the GENERA project German coordinator, and the President of the European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS were invited as speakers: BASNET Forumas was created in 2009 at the end of the BASNET FP6 EU project; it is an observer in the GENERA project on gender equality in physics and a full member of EPWS, represented in its Board of Administration by Dalia Satkovskiene.
The conference was opened by welcome speeches from representatives of high-level political structures (Lithuanian and European Parliament, Baltic Assembly, representatives of Lithuanian President, Minister of Education, Science and Sport) and of the Lithuanian Vilnius and Kaunas universities (see photo).
The issues discussed at the Conference dealt with:
- Gender Equality in Research: new Challenges and Policies
- The role of NGOs in Gender Equality Policy Making, Disseminating and Implementing
- Implementation of Gender Equality in STEM Research Organisations
- Strengthening of Women Scientists Networks in STEM in the Baltic States
The representatives of the European Commission and of EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) presented very recent gendered statistics.
Original measures developed at Kaunas University for promoting Women and Girls in ICT were described.
The different talks and round tables evidenced the great importance, on gender equality development in Baltic research institutions, of EU Horizon 2020 research projects: the institutions that benefited from them set the rare gender equality plans existing in this region; the gender issue was pushed forward and the awareness rose.
Several speakers stressed the role of NGOs as think-tank for providing expertise to policy-makers. However NGOs do not have the sufficient workforce or funds to enforce their ideas at large scale.
Very fruitful exchanges and networking took place in a friendly atmosphere.
A Resolution was produced, targeting science policy-makers and politicians, from EU and from the Baltic States.