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[World Report] Taking the battle against sexual harassment in global academia online

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Social media has provided channels to almost instantly name-and-shame alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment in academia. Becky McCall reports.

[Perspectives] Women's value: beyond the business case for diversity and inclusion

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
This Lancet issue on women in medicine seeks to address some confronting topics: from a “system imbued with gender bias” to the “unequal distribution of power within societies”. These important ideas can at times feel like endangered concepts: in discussions about equality in recent decades, principles of equity and social justice have been increasingly crowded out by market logic and rhetoric. Consider journalist Anand Giridharadas's account of a breakout session at a Clinton Global Initiative conference on harnessing the power of girls and women for sustainable development.

[Perspectives] Africa rising: gendered journeys of women patients and providers

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
I quickly learnt in clinical practice as a breast surgical oncologist to always carry an extra pack of tissues. Patients can cry when they find out they have cancer. Sometimes it's tears of outrage—when a patient tells me she has been in and out of hospitals for the past 6 months and health workers have repeatedly prescribed different antibiotics for her now fungating breast mass. There are also tears of relief—as a diagnostic dilemma turns into a simple condition that only requires follow-up and no surgery.

[Perspectives] Gendered impacts of privatisation and austerity in eastern Europe

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Some 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, scholars are still investigating the impacts of the transition years—from the finding that east Europeans born around the introduction of free markets are, on average, a centimetre shorter than people born just before or immediately after the onset of transition to the association between mass privatisation programmes in post-socialist European countries and a short-term increase in mortality rates among working-aged men. But what about the women? Although women from former Eastern Bloc countries were relatively better prepared than men for the transition to the free market, partly due to their education and professional experience in certain “white collar” sectors of the economy, rapid privatisation and the concomitant implosion of public spending reduced women's ability to compete in newly liberalised labour markets.

[Correspondence] Female global health leadership: data-driven approaches to close the gender gap

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Women hold a minority of health leadership positions globally. Yet, 75–80% of trainees, health workers, and faculty interested in global health are women.1,2 This disparity in global health leadership negatively affects health outcomes for women and children worldwide.3 We aimed to investigate the gender-based challenges of female health trainees and professionals, and identify data-driven interventions.

[Correspondence] Increasing women's leadership in science in Ho Chi Minh City

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Increasing initiatives to advance women's careers in science are almost exclusively based on data from high-income countries.1,2 To improve inclusion and diversity in science, data from low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are urgently needed to inform the debate and enable effective change. A literature search using the terms “women” and “science” or “research” revealed a scarcity of relevant publications from LMICs in peer-reviewed journals.3–5

[Correspondence] Australia's strategy to achieve gender equality in STEM

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
In Australia, increasing the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a national imperative. In 2016, the Australian Federal Government identified gender equality as a key platform in its National Innovation and Science Agenda.1 Although the efforts of women to advance gender equality in STEM remain central, men have been notably absent in these efforts despite holding the power and influence to create substantial change. Engaging decent and influential men to work beside women to accelerate gender equality in STEM is a major strategic opportunity and priority.

[Correspondence] Supporting female scientists in Yemen

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
The contribution of Yemeni women to shaping the history and civilisation of ancient Arabia is well documented in the historical literature and the divine books of all the Abrahamic religions. The Sabaean Kingdom, which represents one of the oldest civilisations in South Arabia (modern day Yemen), was ruled by a powerful female monarch (Queen Sheba) who travelled to Jerusalem to meet with King Solmon and test his wisdom.

[Correspondence] Strengthening the role of ethnic minority women in science and medicine in China

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
In the past 60 years, the quality of education for the female population has substantially improved, and there has been a robust increase of women involved in science and medicine in China. The number of female professional researchers has reached 31·46 million, accounting for 40·5% of the total number of scientific researchers in China.1 However, women in science and medicine are largely under-represented at senior levels. For example, women comprise approximately 38% of assistant or associate professors and approximately 8% of full professors in universities and scientific institutes.

[Correspondence] The world is yours

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
“Let me know when you publish in The Lancet!” This is my father's standard reply when I produce scientific publications. His paper in said journal from 19831 is from a time when gender differences received limited attention in science. In 2018, however, things are different. When two white men published a list of 100 important articles for ecologists,2 I thought “what a nice summary”. 14 female scientists and two male scientists instead evidently thought “wait a minute” and commented3–5 on the gendered problems of highlighting 97 articles first authored by white men, and the non-random, structurally biased method for selecting them.

[Correspondence] #IToo

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
I am Marceline van Furth, a 58-year-old Dutch woman and one of the first female professors in paediatric infectious diseases in the Netherlands. I am chair in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the Amsterdam University Medical Center. I am married to Mpho Tutu, a 54-year-old South African woman. Mpho is an Episcopal priest, a published author, an artist, and was the founding Executive Director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. We have both achieved successes in fields that are, traditionally, unwelcoming to women.

[Department of Error] Department of Error

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Willett W, Rockström J, Loken B, et al. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. Lancet 2018; 393: 447–92—The reference citations in the panels have been corrected, and a reference list pertaining only to the panels has been added to the appendix. The references in the appendix have also been corrected. In addition, the sentence in the first paragraph of the section ‘Analyses of total diets: nutrient adequacy and mortality’ has been corrected to: “The only exception is vitamin B12 that is low in plant-based diets”.

[Correspondence] Countries, parental occupation, and girls' interest in science

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Although women have made substantial progress in the uptake of undergraduate and graduate study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, they remain under-represented overall.1 The gender gap in STEM enrolment is related to differences in attitudes toward science rather than differences in mathematical and scientific ability.2 We explored the factors influencing adolescent girls' interest in science, with a focus on the interplay between cultural factors and parental occupation.

[Correspondence] Promoting gender equity in grant making: what can a funder do?

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Underrepresentation of women at the higher ranks of medicine and science in the USA is well established. Career advancement of female scientists is reported to be adversely affected by gender disparities in start-up packages,1 salary,2 and grant application review processes.3 Because attainment of career development awards is associated with subsequent grant funding,4,5 understanding and targeting potential sources of bias in grant selection processes could be particularly important in improving the career advancement of women and in funding promising research.

[Correspondence] The Mentor–Protégé Program in health research in Cameroon

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
In Cameroon, leadership positions in health research are generally held by men.1 To reduce this gender gap, the Higher Institute for Growth in Health Research for Women (HIGHER Women) Consortium was founded in 2015 by Rose Leke to empower Cameroonian women scientists who have a motivation and inspiration for health research.

[Correspondence] Addressing women's under-representation in medical leadership

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Although nearly half of all doctors in the UK are women, other than the highest college rank of president, other senior echelons of medicine have disproportionately low numbers of women. For example, less than one quarter of hospital Trust medical directors and just 13% of all clinical professors on university contracts are women.1 Although women are under-represented in positions of senior leadership, no conclusive evidence suggests that they are disadvantaged in their endeavours or unwilling to deliver the necessary commitment, resulting in few women reaching medical leadership roles.

[Correspondence] Achieving women's equity in academic medicine: challenging the standards

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Despite extensive work for decades to improve gender equity in academic medicine, women continue to lag behind men in the number of tenure and leadership positions. This status quo hampers access of women faculty to the power and decision-making authority necessary to effect change.

[Correspondence] Advancing women in STEM: institutional transformation

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Despite decades of efforts aimed at equity, women continue to be underrepresented among STEM faculty at research-intensive universities,1 where they experience structural barriers to access, promotion, and retention.2 Funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE programme, Oregon State University researchers intentionally recruited high-level, influential administrators and faculty to engage in institutional transformation work, through the attainment of deep, nuanced, and emotional understandings of how barriers operate at both the individual and institutional level.

[Correspondence] Female health volunteers of Nepal: the backbone of health care

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
In the 1980s, Nepal started a programme of female community health volunteers, commonly known as “mahila swoyemsewika”, which means “female volunteer”. In the early days, their roles were to support family planning, especially by distributing birth control pills and condoms. Gradually, their roles were expanded to include other programmes.1 The volunteers are instrumental in achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals and other targets.2 This programme has been the backbone of the health system in Nepal for the past three decades.

[Correspondence] Investing in gender equity in health and biomedical research: a Singapore perspective

Sa, 09/02/2019 - 00:00
Singapore ranks first in the world in progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals1 and often highest among Asian countries on measures of innovation and research.2 This efficient progress is because of Singapore's substantial strategic investments in the past 3 decades, which were aimed at prioritising leadership in health and biomedical research within Asia, and ultimately becoming leaders in global health.3 The success of this vision rests crucially on human capital—first, shaping a health-care workforce, ready for the future, to support the increasing (and increasingly complex) needs of an ageing population; and second, growing local capacity while attracting international talent to jointly fuel the intellectual core of an aspiring global research hub.