Tora Aasland, Minister For Research and Higher Education, has decided to break rules of the European Union which forbid discriminating in hiring due to gender. She said next year’s budget would contain money that is earmarked for academic posts that can only be filled by women. She argued the gap in technology and science is great and there is need to close it by aggressively fostering the hiring of women for academic positions. “We used this method in the 1990′s and I believe that is why we had so many women doing post doctoral work when the scheme was ended in 2003. I hope the earmarked funds will be a useful tool” in closing the gender gap in higher education.
The 1900′s initiative had to be halted due to European Union complaints it violated equal rights. Aasaland intends to lobby for changes that will allow specific programs to deal with gender bias that already exists.