Return to query
|Name of Organisation:||University Association of Women’s Studies (Asociación Universitaria de Estudios de las Mujeres, AUDEM)|
|Main implementing organisation:||University Association of Women’s Studies (Asociación Universitaria de Estudios de las Mujeres, AUDEM)|
|Line of Business:||Non profit organization mainly related to the higher educations sector. Its main objective is to promote women's studies and gender at all levels of teaching and research. Members are higher education students, researchers and professors working on any gender-related research. The association coordinates currently 57 gender related institutes, seminars and research groups throughout Spain.|
|End Date:||Still Ongoing|
|Number of Employees||225||93.33 %|
|Employees in R&D||150||86.67 %|
|Number of Employees in Top Positions||7||100 %|
|Transferability of the initiative||Programme is considered to be transferable to another context|
|Type of initiative referring to strategic objectives||awareness|
|gender in research|
|Type of initiative, located on the stage of career progression of women scientists||Qualification (Higher Education)|
This initiative aims to:
The lack of mainstream gender perspective in research.
The lack of mainstream gender perspective in most higher education programmes, particularly in natural, life and engineering sciences and technical disciplines.
The systematic undervaluation of researchers working on gender issues in university departments and the resultant lack of funding for their activities.
AUDEM has enhanced the effectiveness of all women’s and gender studies institutes, seminars and research groups, as regards their relationship with funding agencies. This has led to securing more resources and being able to organize more activities.
Moreover, AUDEM members have participated in implementing many of the equality action plans of their respective universities, which represents an important step towards the fully recognition of women’s and gender studies.
Despite the early launch of gender seminars and women’s studies institutes, a lack of institutional recognition and difficulties securing funding were common barriers shared by all researchers/research groups within their respective departments and universities.
This sharing of common barriers and concerns led to joint coordinated actions, some of which were funded by the Spanish Women’s Institute (with each university having to be dealt with separately).
This situation gave rise to the need for the creation of a single negotiating body, to coordinate all the activities and increase efficiency.
The already existing coordination needed to be institutionalized in a single organization, to support and promote collaborative networking.
Finally, the common concerns and barriers of the women’s and gender institutes, seminars and research groups led to the institutionalization and legal constitution of the association, created to coordinate future actions.
Conferences, meetings and seminars were held in order to share knowledge, experiences and good practices.
Higher education students, researchers and professors working on any gender-related research. The scientific community at large.
In Spain, the newly created feminist movement had had a significant public presence since the end of the dictatorship (1975).
In universities, the need to create a specific space for reflection and critique of the male/masculine influence on the process of creating and transmitting knowledge resulted in the establishment of several women’s and gender institutes, seminars and research groups.
In 1986, there were already a dozen centres for women's and gender studies and feminism was established in several universities.
Numerous coordinated activities had already taken place, some of which were financed by the Women’s Institute.
Then, the idea of institutionalizing the already existing coordination, in order to support and promote collaborative networking, was proposed.
A Management Board comprised of Silvia Puertas, Mayte Gallego and Susana Tavera took the steps required for the constitution of the association and, on 16 November 1991, the constituent assembly was held in Madrid.
Lola Brown was elected as the first President of the Association; she was later replaced by the Vice-President, Dr. Virginia Maquieira
Three Committees were set up through the statutes of the association:
Most of the regular operational work of the association, as well as membership funding, is made on a voluntary basis.
Two kinds of membership are currently available: researcher on women’s/gender issues or supportive funding member (for persons/institutions not working on gender-related research)
The association seeks institutional support (Women’s Institute, regional and national public institutions and universities) for the funding of events, conferences and open activities.
At present, due to the persistent undervaluation of gender studies specificity in certain fields and universities, the newest objective of the AUDEM is to create an observatory to denounce this kind of bad practices.
A few members of AUDEM, such as Mary Nash and María-Ángeles Durán, hold important professorships and awards. This recognition contributes to the valuation and promotion of gender studies in Spanish universities and research institutions.
Undervaluation of women’s and gender studies; lack of recognition of its scientific relevance, scarce support to its institutionalisation. These problems are present in universities and the scientific community at large and also involve financial barriers since recognition leads to funding.
Many lessons have been learned through their experience:
The hosting universities have benefited from the achievements of the association in several ways:
One of the factors that enhance the sustainability of this initiative is the rotation of the presidency (and the workload it entails) between universities. The rotation is agreed in the biannual assembly.
The initiative had not been taken from another context, although several meetings were held with Italian research instates involved in women’s and gender studies.
The initiative might be fully transferred to another context.
Although it has not been transferred yet, foreign members have joined the group (particularly from South America).
It is not yet fully embedded in a wider organizational equality strategy, despite efforts made to involve universities.
These efforts include:
- Membership, initially restricted to university researchers of both sexes involved in women’s and gender studies, has subsequently widened its scope to an open membership.
- Active collaboration in implementing equality plans at universities.
It was the first coordinated initiative to increase awareness of and deal with the lack of gender mainstream in university programmes and research.
University Association of Women’s Studies (Asociación Universitaria de Estudios de las Mujeres, AUDEM) is a Spanish interdisciplinary R&D asssociation, which comprises 57 institutions. It is the first coordinated initiative to support and improve the mainstreaming of gender in university studies and research.
Return to query