The gender dimension of science and technology (S&T) has become an increasingly important issue worldwide. In the drive to strengthen knowledge-based societies and technological advancements, policy-makers are looking to ensure that their countries have an adequate supply of researchers. It is encouraging to note that according to the available recent data (2008) the percentage of female researchers jumped from 23% (2002) to 27% in 2008 in that exceeds Asia average (17%) and equals to international average.
However, despite this progress, there is still a long way to achieve gender equity. Numerous initiatives are required to increase the recruitment, retention and success of women in ST&I. Many women and girls are excluded from participation in science and technology (S&T) activities by poverty and lack of education (at all levels), or by aspects of their legal, institutional, political and cultural environments. Women remain seriously under-represented in most disciplines of science and technology, and furthermore, are not well-represented in at the most senior levels in all disciplines. The job options for women remain limited to agriculture, services (domestic) and small-scale industries.
The status of women in ST&I cannot be determined fully without the survey of gender landscape of the country. In Pakistan, so far no survey of women in ST&I related parameters of the country has been carried out at national level.
For this purpose, PCST has chalked out a plan to carry out Gender mainstreaming studies in ST&I. Gender statistics are needed to provide an evidence base for research and policy development. Gender statistics have an important role in improving the whole statistical system, pushing it to describe more accurately and fully the activities and characteristics of the whole population, which is made of women and men. Also, most of published data regarding gender mainstreaming is scattered on different websites. This website will provide a national platform for compiling the data.
PCST through this website will play an active part for strengthening and extending regional, sub-regional and international coordination among women scientists, particularly in relation to the exchange of information on the advancement of women and on programs and activities designed for them. PCST will become a hub for empowering women scientists with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the economic development process.