Gender & SDG report launched in Seoul

Diplomats, development experts and scientists joined me at the launch of the report entitled “The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All.” Professor Heisook Lee, President of the Korea Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, and I are the managing editors of the report. We brought together over 25 experts to compile the first edition. Th report introduces the intersection between gender, science and global development goals at the event at the Korea Science and Technology Center in Seoul. The report points to gender-based scientific solutions for all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what is a “gender-based innovation”, and how can it help a country develop? A gendered innovation is any product or knowledge created with sex and gender taken into consideration. Bearing in mind the female half of the population when conducting research may seem obvious. But, astoundingly, “male” has too often been considered the norm in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) to date. Think of using only male mice for drug laboratory testing; think of using only male proportions for car safety crash test dummies; or think of using the “model man” for setting radiation exposure standards. These are just some examples where women have suffered because of gender bias in research. Unfortunately science for development – or “sustainability science” is no exception.

An important goal of the report, and part of the Gender Summit mission more generally, is to connect experts and knowledge in the research and innovation community and the development community, to interlink scientific evidence with context, and inform implementation strategies, programmes and consensus-driven dialogue. Discussions at the Gender Summit 6 Asia-Pacific, the first in the region, kick-started the report. We'll continue this dialogue at the forthcoming Gender Summit 8 – North & Latin America, where I participate in a panel alongside my co-editor and several of the contributing experts. We hope many of you may be able to attend and, if not, you will have opportunity to make contribution in the summits that will follow, in Europe in November 2016, in Japan in May 2017 and in Canada in November 2017.

We'd be very grateful if you could circulate the report to other actors and stakeholders you think could benefit from this edition of the report and would be interested in being involved in future actions. We will update regularly on the plans and welcome your advice on new experts to approach for future editions. Please email us at team@gender-summit.com.

For GenPORT, I have selected a handful of key references from the report that give an introduction to the topic.

Read the full report. “The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All”

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