In a new policy statement, China's Ministry of Science and Technology says it will be giving priority to female researchers in recruitment and funding decisions, the South China Morning Post reports. It adds that the policy further will loosen age limits for talent programs and provide extra time on research projects for female researchers who had been on maternity leave.
According to SCMP, 49 percent of all individuals with college degrees in China are women, but a much smaller percentage are academicians. It adds that 6 percent of academicians at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and 5.3 percent of academicians at the Chinese Academy of Engineering are women. It further notes that Tu Youyou, a traditional Chinese medicine specialist who won the 2015 Nobel Prize for her work contributing to a malaria therapy, has been unable to garner the "academician" title despite multiple attempts.
The new policy statement says that more women should be nominated as academicians and, provided they are as qualified as male nominees, they should be approved first, it adds.