The ‘prestigious’ copyright goes to the men in health studies

This article was supported by Elsevier Foundation.

Irene Owusu often struggles with the difficult choice between family and a job – sometimes having to sacrifice one for the other.

“One of the challenges I have faced is the balance between work and family,” says a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Epidemiology at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research at the University of Ghana.

“It’s hard to work in science effectively and take care of a family,” says Oso. SciDev.Net . Network.

“Recognizing and taking account of these impediments is a step forward, but also recognizing the importance of supporting the research ecosystem as a whole and the inherent power imbalances is a step forward in addressing these disparities,”

Rebecca Grace, CEO, Pasteur Network

However, Osu’s predicament is just a glimpse into the challenges women face in unequal areas health search scene.

Globally, women in health find it more difficult to publish in scientific journals than men, according to Recent Analysis.

This is most evident for women in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where women experience greater inequality due to systemic barriers that go beyond those faced by women in high-income countries. According to the study Posted in BMJ worldwide health.

Women researchers in sub-Saharan Africa lag far behind women in the European Union and North America in their contributions to health. Research Literature as the main author or individual author”, say the researchers. “They face a lot sex Publication inequality in prestigious authorship positions in academic journals.

Inequality in health research

The Global Health BMJ co-led study Policies And the data Analysts Anwar Baabid, Tara Faghani Hamdani, and Sarah Sawyer examined authors’ attitudes—whether first, last, or single authors—for women researchers in sub-Saharan Africa between 2014 and 2016. The study also examined policies and practices in the ten journals with the highest publication rates. Publications in first place from the region, to identify barriers to women in publishing.

Recently, women have become more likely to be first authors, as a small position is often given to a student or researcher early in their career, yet less likely to be a last author, or a position given to principal researchers, or those who have received funding For research, the researchers said.

Based on global and regional analyses, the study found that the greatest inequality of authorship in health research publication was in sub-Saharan Africa, with men being the lead authors in more than half of the publications. Male authors also accounted for 65 percent and 66 percent of last and single authors, respectively.

Although women made up at least 20 percent of previous authors in 25 countries across the region, even greater publication success went to researchers from South Africa and Nigeria.

Latest book Numbers of Women in Every Country in Sub-Saharan Africa. attributed to him: Baabed aAnd the Faghani-Hamadani TAnd the Sawyer sand others
Gender equality in health research dissemination in Africa. Global Health BMJ (CC BY-NC 4.0.0 Update).

The report notes that the magazines that have published most of the sub-Saharan African women as prominent authors are based in the region.

Only one journal explicitly discussed author diversity and encouraged submissions from the global south, while two journals provided implicit statements in support of diversity. Five out of ten journals studied included data that processing fees could be waived for authors from low- and middle-income countries.

Francophone researchers in Africa face particular difficulties, such as only one out of ten journals published in both French and English. The authors say this linguistic isolation has exacerbated inequality among Francophone researchers.

Meanwhile, global health and medical research fails to consistently apply the gender and gender perspective and remains largely the preserve of high-income countries, according to the Study 2021 by Global Health 50/50which is an advocacy group for gender equality in health care.

The first and last male authors were twice as many as women from low-income countries, according to the study, while the first and last authors from high-income countries were 19 times more than the authors from low-income countries.

The study found that the number of first and last authors from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa combined was lower than the number of authors from Europe or North America.

“Despite a variety of policies and guidelines on integrating sex and/or gender into research, the publications remain largely about sex and gender,” the authors said.

“Failure to appreciate gender and gender differences in medical and health research results in missed opportunities to identify and respond to the impact of these factors on the health and well-being of all people.

“Unrepresentation of the population that is the center of much global health research limits knowledge production.”

Politics and Finance

Francesca Motabe, co-director of the Academy of Global Health at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, says traditional health research in the Global South – particularly in Africa – has been driven by local needs directed by local policies.

Motabe says women should be involved in health research for diversity, inclusion and equity.

“Inclusivity in health research and policy is critical to providing equitable health care,” she says SciDev.Net . Network. “All health research must be comprehensive for the target population it is purported to serve.”

“It appears that the scientific community now recognizes the impact of women in this field, thus making more money available so that women can also do good quality research,” Owusu adds.

The ‘prestigious’ copyright goes to the men in health studies

Language barriers are just one of many additional obstacles that health researchers from low- and middle-income countries face, says Rebecca Grace, executive director of the Pasteur Network, a humanitarian organization that advocates for knowledge transfer and free access to information.

“Recognizing and taking account of these drawbacks is a step forward, but also recognizing the importance of supporting the research ecosystem as a whole and the inherent power imbalances is a step forward in addressing these disparities,” she says. SciDev.Net . Network.

Grais stresses that health research publishing organizations have made great progress by making the scientific literature available through open access, but adds other hurdles such as Article publishing fee (APCs) still exist – which means that although authors have access to the literature, they remain excluded from publication in these same journals.

“There are many other reasons for the relatively low number of research papers emerging from the Global South, and APCs are just one example of this,” says Grace, former director of research at Epicenter, the epidemiology and research arm of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) ).

This piece was produced by the SciDev.Net Global Office.

This article was supported by the Elsevier Foundation, part of the corporate responsibility program of the global publishing body Elsevier, and focuses on sustainable development in the areas of gender, health, climate and inequality reduction.