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Gac Sanit. 2015 Nov-Dec;29(6):404-11. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.07.013. Epub 2015 Sep 26.

[Gender inequalities in research in public health and epidemiology in Spain (2007-2014)].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, España; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (ibs.Granada), Granada, España. Electronic address:
Grupo de Investigación de Salud Pública, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, España; CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), España.
Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, España; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (ibs.Granada), Granada, España.
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), España; Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, España; Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, España; Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), Barcelona, España.
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, España.



To analyse gender inequalities in research on public health and epidemiology in Spain for the period 2007-2014.


A descriptive study was conducted by sex of leadership positions in the Centre for Biomedical Research Network (CIBER), especially in the subject area of epidemiology and public health (CIBERESP) in 2014; scientific societies of public health (SESPAS) and epidemiology (SEE) 2009-2014; research projects requested (13,320) and financed (4,699), and monetary amounts of calls for Strategic Action in Health (AES), 2007-2013.


Women were clearly under-represented in positions of leadership and in research excellence in public health (CIBER), with a predominance of men in decision-making positions. Although research projects led by women in AES increased slightly between 2007 and 2013, among proposed projects this figure was less than 50%, with the exception of the public health commission. The gender gap was even greater in funded projects. Projects led by men were more likely to be funded, representing 29% in public health. There was also a persistence of horizontal gender segregation in positions of scientific recognition in the SESPAS and SEE Congresses.


The overrepresentation of male leaders in public health research in Spain can be understood as an indicator and a consequence of androcentrism in scientific societies and professional groups. This sexist situation threatens the existence of innovative products and services from a gender perspective that respond to the needs and demands of society as a whole. More women are needed in research incorporating this perspective.


Desigualdades; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; España; Gender; Género; Inequalities; Investigación; Public health; Research; Salud pública; Spain

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