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On June 27 and 28, the II ELAS Dialogue in the Exact Sciences brought together more than 40 educators, activists, students and experts in Rio de Janeiro to discuss gender and race inequalities in education.

The objective of the meeting was to strengthen the 10 projects selected in ELAS in the Exact Sciences, the 20th ELAS Fund Project Competition, launched in partnership with Instituto Unibanco and Fundação Carlos Chagas to contribute to a greater insertion of girls in careers in the exact and natural sciences, expanding their repertoire of professional choices and life projects.

The event was attended by about 30 representatives of the 10 projects supported by ELAS in the Exact Sciences and 13 invited to discuss the topic, as well as representatives of the ELAS Fund, the Unibanco Institute and the Carlos Chagas Foundation.

On the morning of the first day, Amalia Fischer, general coordinator and co-founder of the ELAS Fund, Amalia Fischer, opened the meeting by emphasizing that "school is a fundamental place for social transformation". "ELAS in the Exact Sciences is a tripartite and innovative initiative built on the logic of co-creation. The ELAS Fund, the Unibanco Institute and the Chagas Foundation are together to advance the rights of girls in the field of education," said Amalia.

Denise Hirao, from Instituto Unibanco, stated that "gender differences are culturally constructed and, therefore, can be culturally destroyed; this is what we believe and what we base ELAS in the Exact Sciences on".

Thais Gava, from the Carlos Chagas Foundation, said that the issue needs to be debated and there must be a struggle for it to become a public policy theme. "We want this to reverberate and be debated in other spaces as well," she added.

Intense program of debates on gender, education and science

On the 27th, the panel "Gender Inequalities" took place, with the participation of Jacira Melo (Patrícia Galvão Institute), Maria Lúcia Silva (AMMA Psiquê Institute), Monique Eleotério (CAMTRA) and Larissa Santiago (Black Bloggers). It was an opportunity for students, managers and teachers to exchange with feminist activists and scholars of gender and race relations.

Jacira Melo, from the Patrícia Galvão Agency, pointed out that "no human behavior can be considered natural". "Despite the fact that they are studying more and have entered the labor market, women still earn less than men, because it is still understood that women's work is complementary to the family's income - when, in fact, it stopped being so more than 30 years ago!", said Jacira.

Maria Lúcia da Silva, from the AMMA Psiqué e Negritude Institute, recalled that talking about women in the sciences is also talking about representativeness and self-esteem: "For a black woman to see herself as a physicist, for example, it takes a whole reorganization of herself", explained the psychologist.

"It takes a big investment in the emotional to achieve this possibility of women seeing themselves beyond the models we have learned since we were born," said Maria Lucia.

Then the guests Rosana Heringer (President of the Board of the ELAS Fund and Professor at UFRJ),