Gender Equality in Academics: Are we there?
Background: Research productivity is one of the scholarly achievement measures and is an essential criterion for academic promotions. In Ethiopia, eight universities have recently been identified as research universities. Although gender differences in research productivity may be diminishing over time, women are still underrepresented in academics.
Aim: To determine potential sex differences in educational status, academic rank, and research productivity in research universities in Ethiopia.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the 2018/2019 academic year in four research universities. Data analysis was done using IBM SPSS (Statistical software for social sciences) Version 25 and STATA software version 14. Percentage and t-test statistics was used to compare men's distribution versus women at each educational status, academic rank, and by research productivity measured by number of peer review articles published, and grants awarded.
Results: Among 8,549 research university faculty members, only 1,410 (16.49%) were women. Men outnumbered women at all academic faculty ranks, and the difference increased with advancing academic rank. Statistical t-test finding revealed a significant female under-representation in the number of faculty members, publication of peer-reviewed articles and research grant awards.
Conclusions: Men outnumbered women and had more publications as well as research grant awards. This inequity in research universities demands promoting the efforts to increase the number of female faculty members in academics and adopting a more systematic approach for equitable opportunities that enhance female research productivity. Future studies should explore peculiar barriers and opportunities in each discipline. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(SI-2):03-07]
Keywords: gender equality, grant awards, peer-reviewed articles, publication, sex difference