Under-representation of women in science: the Indian story

Under-representation of women in science is a global phenomenon and affects India as well. It deprives women of opportunities in science and is also a great loss to society and science itself. The scientific community can be an important pressure group for building greater focus on the issue and pushing for concrete measures to address the problem. This article reviews the discussions amongst the Indian scientific community on the subject since the early twentieth century and examines the suggestions made by it, based on research and personal experiences. There is a strong case for mandating women’s presence in leadership and decision-making position s to address the issue. There is also a case for greater involvement of male colleagues in addressing this issue. Important suggestions have been put forth to make our scientific institutions women-friendly, but not many have been implemented. The resolution of the issue requires stronger will and deeper commitment from policy-makers and the scientific community itself.