Female-focused research is a worthwhile investment

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Female-identifying university students have the power to generate and advocate for female-focused research on the ground level—and that’s something we should take advantage of.  
 
There’s a significant gap in modern data: research on women is severely lacking. 
 
From anthropology to biology and every discipline between, nearly half of our global population’s experiences still go misunderstood and inadequately represented. It’s crucial that we work to ensure there’s better equality in our research practices. 
 
Over the past few years, feminist movements have sparked a massive dialogue about women’s experiences in the workplace and in daily life. Given the global scale of these movements, it can seem daunting to find a way to meaningfully support them.
 
But as university students, we live in a hub of research and learning. We have many opportunities to participate in research groups and data-collecting surveys—some of us will even lead our own. Female students should strive to use these opportunities to support female-focused research, and further the push for the inclusion of women’s experiences in data. 
 
On an average day, a Queen’s student will likely see at least one flyer posted on a bulletin board advertising a student-conducted study. By taking the time to participate in, facilitate, and initiate these studies, women can contribute to adequate female representation in research and data. 
 
In a 2018 Journal editorial, the Editorial Board addressed a Whig article discussing a city-wide survey which found that the percentage of women among people experiencing homelessness in Kingston is twice the national average. 
 
Earlier this year, The Atlantic reported on a study that found that women’s work performance suffers in cold office spaces. Findings showed that by increasing office temperatures by one degree Celsius, women performed better. 
 
These cases underscore the fact that every woman has unique daily experiences on the basis of their gender identification and biological sex. 
 
These experiences simply can’t be properly represented by generalizations made around male-focused data. Women-specific studies like these reveal the ways in which our society systemically underserves women, highlighting problem areas that require change.
 
Exposing the various ways our society is failing women is valuable. Using research to identify inequities and differences inspires change and starts meaningful conversation. It’s proof that female-focused research is important: we can’t work to address these problems until we know they exist. 
 
As students, it’s our responsibility to take an active stance and share our experiences by participating in studies and research wherever we can. 
 
Advocating for female-focused research will allow us to work toward changing the conditions of our workplaces, our communities, and our public spaces for the better. 
 
Brittany is The Journal’s Arts Editor. She’s a fifth-year English student.

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