Historically, women have been less likely to be supported through higher degree training programmes, and they continue to hold more junior positions in science. This paper reviews the current gender research and gender capacity-building efforts led by the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). Created more than 40 years ago as the only United Nations-based Special Programme dedicated to research and research capacity building on infectious diseases, TDR has a longstanding track record both in supporting research into gender-specific questions and in research capacity strengthening among women scientists. We provide an overview of these approaches, then describe a recent pilot programme on Women in Science, designed to understand and remedy the gender gaps in health research. The programme focused on Africa, but it is hoped that the replication of such schemes in TDR and other international funding agencies will lead to more attention being given to women in infectious diseases research in other continents.
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