Women inventor rate in Iran higher than global average

May 1, 2021 - 17:11

TEHRAN – The proportion of female inventors to male inventors in Iran is significantly higher than the global average and even higher than the leading countries in the field of patents, according to the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology’s report released on Saturday.

Women make up half of the world's population, but do they play a direct role in the development and growth of innovation at the same rate of 50 percent? Research shows that the proportion of women inventors is still a long way from the assumed 50 percent.

According to the report, while on average in the world, the percentage of women inventors in patent cases is about 14 percent, and in leading countries, this figure does not reach 18 percent, it reaches up to 24 percent in Iran.

The results of this study, which was conducted on more than 2,000 existing cases, showed that for every four male inventors, one female inventor is active, which is a significant ratio compared to the global ratio of 6-to-1.

Women’s participation in science

Science Minister Mansour Gholami has said that the participation of Iranian women in higher education research and development projects has increased from 27 percent in 2000 to 39.6 percent in 2017.

In all levels of education, the share of women has risen from 5.3 percent in 1978 to over 50 percent or even 60 percent during the past seven years, he noted, IRNA reported on Sunday.

Over 4,500 women enrolled in doctoral courses each year, and in the past three years on average, the number of doctoral theses registered by women is equivalent to 40 percent of the total dissertations registered in the database, he further explained.

While the share of the female population in higher education was only 281 per 100,000 populations in 1978, now, it reached 4,747 people (4.7 percent, almost 20 times), and the gross female enrollment rate (total number of students aging 18 to 24) has risen from 2.1 percent in 1978 to 41.2 percent (20 times) this year, Gholami noted.

In 1978, only 18 percent of women were faculty members working in higher education institutions, while this number reached up to 30 percent by now, he concluded.

Women's role in research and development

The participation of Iranian women in research and development fields is higher than the global average, according to the UNESCO 2020 report on Women in Science.

Iranian women's participation in research and development has increased from 27.7 percent in 2019 to 31.2 percent in 2020, which is above the global average of 30 percent.

The increase in the share of women in research and development is mostly due to their increasing share in knowledge-based companies, Masoumeh Ebtekar, the vice president for women’s and family affairs, said in August 2020.

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