Objective: To analyse gender inequalities in research on public health and epidemiology in Spain for the period 2007-2014.
Method: A descriptive study was conducted by sex of leadership positions in the Centre for Biomedical Research Network (CIBER), especially in the subject area of epidemiology and public health (CIBERESP) in 2014; scientific societies of public health (SESPAS) and epidemiology (SEE) 2009-2014; research projects requested (13,320) and financed (4,699), and monetary amounts of calls for Strategic Action in Health (AES), 2007-2013.
Results: Women were clearly under-represented in positions of leadership and in research excellence in public health (CIBER), with a predominance of men in decision-making positions. Although research projects led by women in AES increased slightly between 2007 and 2013, among proposed projects this figure was less than 50%, with the exception of the public health commission. The gender gap was even greater in funded projects. Projects led by men were more likely to be funded, representing 29% in public health. There was also a persistence of horizontal gender segregation in positions of scientific recognition in the SESPAS and SEE Congresses.
Conclusions: The overrepresentation of male leaders in public health research in Spain can be understood as an indicator and a consequence of androcentrism in scientific societies and professional groups. This sexist situation threatens the existence of innovative products and services from a gender perspective that respond to the needs and demands of society as a whole. More women are needed in research incorporating this perspective.
Keywords: Desigualdades; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; España; Gender; Género; Inequalities; Investigación; Public health; Research; Salud pública; Spain.
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