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Inequity in east Euro science

Female researchers in former communist states are plentiful, but kept out of the best jobs

Andrew Scott(as@andrewscottweb.co.uk)

The 10 new member states scheduled to join the European Union in May this year include eight former communist countries where women comprise a significantly greater proportion of scientific researchers than in the current European Union. But a new report on the status of women scientists in central and eastern European countries (CEEC) warns that this increased representation may hide significant problems.

The report on women and science in the ENWISE countries covers the situation in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The research program was launched last year and has been compiled by the ENWISE Expert Group, chaired by professor Ene Ergma, president of the Estonian Parliament. ENWISE stands for “Enlarge Women In Science to the East.”

Women account for 38% of the scientific workforce in CEEC, compared with around 30% in the European Union. But the report's title, “Waste of...

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