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Women'S Studies

Growth And Institutionalization

Because American educational institutions, especially newer, less-traditional ones, are very flexible in curricular change, women's studies grew and expanded in the United States more quickly than anywhere else. But very soon there were women's studies programs in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. By the 1980s there were programs in all countries in Western Europe, plus Thailand, South Africa, China, the Caribbean, and Uganda. Finally, after the change from communism in Eastern Europe, programs were instituted in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, and others, in addition to Malaysia, Vietnam, and other African nations. Two series of international conferences gave impetus to the growth of women's studies, both within universities and in community-based organizations worldwide. The International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women began in Haifa, Israel, in 1981 and has met every three years since—in the Netherlands (1984), in Ireland (1987), in New York (1990), in Costa Rica (1993), in Australia (1996), in Norway (1999), in Uganda (2002), and in South Korea (2005). Two to three thousand delegates, mostly women, both academics and community organizers, attend to present their work. Each conference draws especially on that continent's practitioners. Thus the Costa Rica conference brought together many indigenous women from Central America as well as Latin American delegates. Languages that year were Spanish, English, and a variety of Indio languages. That this congress continues to meet, without governmental or formal organizational support, is testimony to the personal importance to women all over the world of global scholarship on women.

The United Nations has sponsored four international conferences as a part of its "Decade for Women," in Mexico City (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985), and Beijing (1995). The nongovernmental organizations (NGO) forums held in conjunction with each conference brought together thousands of activists and women's studies groups from all over the world, thus reminding those from the developed world of the connections between education and broader social justice issues.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Well-being to Jan Ɓukasiewicz BiographyWomen'S Studies - Definitions, Origins, Growth And Institutionalization, Research And Publication, Theories And Assumptions, Gerda Lerner