2006  Annual Report

 

By Jeannette van der Sanden

 

The Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and Research in Europe

 

AOIFE, founded in Limerick Ireland in December 1996, brings together 84 European universities and other organisations dedicated to Women’s Studies and Gender Research. By cooperation and networking, the members collectively act on issues concerning feminist education and research.

 

This Annual Report aims to summarise AOIFE’s activities and accomplishments in 2006, a truly eventful year, and to provide an overview of membership and financial status.

 

 

I. The 6th European Gender Research Conference (www.gender2006.pl)

 

The 6th European Gender Research Conference took place in Lodz, Poland, from 31 August - 3 September 2006. The conference was hosted by the Women’s Studies Centre of the University of Lodz and organised in cooperation with the Faculty of International and Political Studies at this University, AOIFE, and ATHENA.

 

The European Feminist Research Conference has been a recurring event, organised by Women’s and Gender Studies Centres at different European universities every third year since 1991. So far Denmark (Aalborg), Austria (Graz), Portugal (Coimbra), Italy (Bologna), Sweden (Lund), and now Poland (Lodz) have hosted the conference. Since the start of AOIFE in 1997, the conference has been organised under the auspices of AOIFE.

 

With 500 participants from all over Europe as well as from other parts of the world, who for four days committed themselves to intense discussions about the conference theme “Gender and Citizenship in a Multicultural Context”, the 6th European Gender Research Conference became a major success.

 

The conference was organised in 12 workshop strands and the keynote speakers were: Rosi Braidotti, Judith Butler, Ruth Lister, Keith Pringle, Ayse Gul Altinay, and Magdalena Sroda. In relation to the conference at least 3 volumes are planned to be published for which contacts with publishers have been established.

 

In the final session of the conference, the next conference to be held in 2009 was announced. It will be hosted by the Graduate Gender Programme of Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

 

 

II. Activities / Projects

ATHENA (www.athena2.org)

 

Next to the conference, a second major achievement for AOIFE in 2006 was the approval of ATHENA III. ATHENA, the Advanced Thematic Network in European Women’s Studies, is AOIFE’s main activity in the field of education. ATHENA submitted its final proposal for


ATHENA III to the European Commission on 1 March 2006. In the evaluation of the ATHENA III proposal by the EC, the cooperation with AOIFE was mentioned as a positive aspect.

 

The year 2006 for ATHENA thus involved the wrapping up of the activities of ATHENA II (2003-2006) and the start of another 3-year cycle of activities on 1 October 2006, called ATHENA III (2006-2009). The annual meeting of ATHENA II was held on 29 and 30 August 2006 in Lodz, Poland, back to back with the 6th European Gender Research Conference. At the annual meeting the 7th volume of the ATHENA joint publication, The Making of European Women’s Studies, was presented.

 

ATHENA III brings together 82 institutes in the interdisciplinary field of Women’s and Gender research. Its thematic focus is on ‘Gender, Culture and European Diversity’ and ‘Women, Access and European Citizenship’, consolidating expertise in the areas of curriculum development, research on education, and forging links between universities and civil society.

 

ATHENA III will run until September 2009. The end of ATHENA III will conclude more than a decade of activities dedicated to uniting scholars, teachers, and stakeholders from civil society and public institutions in the field of gender and diversity. ATHENAI started in 1998 as a Socrates Thematic Network and consecutively received EU funding for ATHENA Dissemination, ATHENA II, and ATHENA III. After ATHENAIII, EU funding for the Thematic Network will come to an end. Therefore AOIFE and ATHENA are preparing the setting up of a new professional platform to continue to bring together the Women’s and Gender Studies community in Europe. (See next section.)

 

The ATHENA Coordinator is Prof. Berteke Waaldijk from Utrecht University.

 

            Towards a professional platform for Women’s Studies in Europe

 

AOIFE and ATHENA have been working on the preparation of a professional platform for Women’s Studies in Europe since 2004. The initial plans aimed for this platform to be realised in 2006, when the mandate of the AOIFE council and ATHENA II would end. When in 2005 another 3 year cycle of ATHENA came in sight, and in 2006 became reality, AOIFE and ATHENA decided to postpone the setting up of the new professional platform. The current planning is that the new association will be launched in the course of the ATHENA III cycle, no later than the end of ATHENA III on 30 September 2009.

 

In the work plan of Athena III this goal has been included and working group 3E in ATHENA III is assigned to this task. Elzbieta Oleksy as member of the ATHENAIII Task Force will specifically monitor the process. At the Annual ATHENA meeting in August 2006, the working group had its first meeting. With the start of ATHENA III, the Merger Taskforce of AOIFE and ATHENA - which had until August 2006 coordinated the activities for the professional platform - has been resolved.

 

The document that was written in January 2005 on the structure and content of the new platform has been revised in March 2006. This was discussed in the AOIFE council meeting of 29 August 2006. In December 2006 the document was updated again, to be discussed in a joint meeting of the AOIFE council and the ATHENA Task Force in January 2007.

 

The new professional platform will be coherent with the ambitions of AOIFE to enhance the opportunities for cooperation and networking in gender research and education in Europe, as expressed in the two previous AOIFE applications for a Network of Excellence (FP5 ‘GENDEReQUALITY’ and FP6 ‘GenderCitizens’). AOIFE and ATHENA will build on the structures and networks already in place and will cooperate with WISE. Plans for the association include a professional journal and conferences.

 

Joint European Research Projects

 

Under the umbrella of AOIFE applications for funding from the European Commission have been submitted, resulting in a number of research projects and research training projects. Projects that were running in 2006 are:

 

·        Research Integration (www.york.ac.uk/res/researchintegration/)

The project ‘Research Integration: Changing Knowledge and Disciplinary Boundaries Through Integrative Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities’ is a Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) coordinated by the University of York. The project started in 2004 and will run until 2007 and almost all project partners are AOIFE members. It responds to the detrimental impact of the fragmentation of the Social Sciences and Humanities on achieving a broad knowledge base in Europe. Two progress meetings were held in 2006 (20-23 April, Oviedo, and 21-24 September 2006, Oldenburg). The project in 2006 resulted in national case studies on the interdisciplinarity in interdisciplinary research programmes in the European partner countries.

 

·        GenderGraduates (www.gendergraduates.org)

The Marie Curie Early Stage Training Programme ‘GenderGraduates’ provides fellowships for graduate students in Gender and Women’s Studies in Europe. The programme is coordinated by Utrecht University and involves 7 European universities who are all AOIFE members. The project started on 1 April 2005 and will run until 2009. In 2006, the first group of Marie Curie fellows was in full swing. In September 2006, the fellows of the second round started their PhD training.

 

·        ATHENA III (www.athena3.org)

ATHENA submitted its final proposal for ATHENA III to the EC on 1 March 2006. After a positive evaluation by the EC, ATHENA III started its activities on 1 October 2006 and will run until 30 September 2009. (See under I. Activities / Projects.)

 

·        GEMMA (www.ugr.es/~gemma)

On 30 April 2006, the proposal for GEMMA: “Gender Erasmus Mundus Master” was sent to the EC (DG Education and Culture). In the autumn of 2006, the proposal was approved. The project is coordinated by the University of Granada and involves 8 European universities that are all AOIFE members. Within the framework of GEMMA, MA students study at two partner universities and in the end get a double MA degree. It is the first Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe. The project runs from 2006 until 2010.

 

 

 

III. Future projects/pending applications

 

·        Marie Curie RTN

In 2006 AOIFE has supported the application for a Marie Curie Research Training Network (RTN). After a successful pre-application for a Marie Curie RTN, Utrecht University submitted the final application for the Marie Curie RTN to the EC (DG Research) on 14 February 2006. Unfortunately this final application has been unsuccessful. The objective of this RTN was to provide a platform for training, knowledge transfer, and career development of Early Stage Trainees and Experienced Researchers in gender studies.

 

·        7th Framework Programme

 

The Call for Proposals for the 7th Framework Programme was issued at the end of 2006. The AOIFE council will in the beginning of 2007 assess whether there are interesting research possibilities for AOIFE in this Call.

 

 

IV. Networking

 

Athena Student Forum / WeAVE

The Athena Student Forum is an international network of students that was formed inside ATHENA. Since 2005, the ATHENA Student Forum has expanded its scope by setting up WeAVE: a network of gender studies scholars and students that goes beyond the reach of ATHENA.

WeAVE was officially launched at the 6th European Gender Research Conference, in Lodz, Poland. At this Conference the Athena Student Forum organised a Welcoming Get-Together for students and WeAVE held a plenary session on the theme of ‘Academic Generosity’ in which 5 speakers participated on 31 August 2006. With a Career Workshop on 3 September 2006 with 4 invited speakers WeAVE attracted a whole lot of students.

 

EPWS

The European Platform for Women Scientists (EPWS), set up in November 2005, organised a Network Meeting on 20 October 2006 in Brussels, which Jeannette van der Sanden has attended, representing both AOIFE and ATHENA. The EPWS is set up by the Women and Science Unit of DG Research and supported by the European Commission. It aims to “network the networks” of women in science; act as a link between women scientists and EU policymakers; and promote the inclusion of the gender dimension in science. Prior to the Network Event of 20 October 2006, the AOIFE Secretariat has provided information about AOIFE to the EPWS and expressed the interest of AOIFE in joining the platform.

 

Yearbook of International Organizations

The AOIFE Secretariat has updated the information about AOIFE, ATHENA, and the ATHENA Student Forum for the 44th edition of the Yearbook of International Organizations. The yearbook also has an online version.

 

 


V. General Assembly 2006

 

In conjunction with the 6th European Gender Research Conference, on 31 August 2006, AOIFE held its General Assembly at the University of Lodz, Poland. Forty AOIFE contact persons were registered for the General Assembly.

 

At the General Assembly a new Council was elected, with 6 regular members and 2 replacements. The council members are: Kirsi Saarikangas , President (Finland), Adelina Sanchez Espinosa, Vice-President (Spain), Nicky Le Feuvre (France), Ulla Holm (Sweden), Rosemarie Buikema (The Netherlands), Sandra Prlenda (Croatia), and replacements Marcella Corsi (Italy) and Kristin Astgeirsdottir (Iceland). With three council members fulfilling their second term and five new members, this council provides the basis for both continuity and creativity.

 

At the General Assembly it was decided that the annual membership fees stay the same for the next three-year period (Institutional members: € 500, Associate members: € 250). The General Assembly also approved the annual accounts of 2003, 2004, and 2005.

 

The council proposed a change to the Standing Orders that were revised at the General Assembly on 20 August 2003. This in relation to Utrecht University’s offer to continue housing the Secretariat. The General Assembly approved to change the Standing Orders.

 

Point 6.1 of the new Standing Orders, first sentence, will read as follows:

 

6.1 AOIFE Secretariat at the Research Institute for Culture and History (RICH) of the Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University

For the period 2006 - 2009, until the next General Assembly in 2009, the AOIFE Secretariat will be located at the Research Institute for Culture and History (RICH) of the Faculty of Arts at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

 

 

VI. AOIFE Council

 

The AOIFE Council serves as the association’s executive body entrusted with making important decisions and implementing AOIFE’s programme according to the Statutes. To ensure a strong relation between the council and AOIFE’s main activities (a.o. ATHENA and the AOIFE Secretariat), the persons in charge of these activities participate in council meetings as ex officio members without the vote. Martha Franken from the Ministry of the Flemish Community, Equal Opportunities in Flanders (Belgium) as an advisor to the council is also an ex officio member of the Council.

 

The year 2006 represented the end of the three year term of the Council that was elected at the AOIFE General Assembly on 18 August 2003 in Lund, Sweden. This council was formed by Elzbieta Oleksy (Poland), Margo Brouns (The Netherlands ), Ulla Holm (Sweden), Sasa Lada (Greece), Nicky Le Feuvre (France), Magda Michielsens (Belgium), Serena Sapegno (Italy), Svetlana Slapsak (Slovenia), Marcella Corsi (Italy), and replacements: Rachel Alsop (UK), Maria Grönroos (Norway), Päivi Korvarjärvi (Finland), and Thorgerdur Einarsdottir (Iceland).

 

A new AOIFE council was elected at the AOIFE General Assembly on 31 August 2006 for the next three year term until the General Assembly in 2009. The persons elected, 6 regular members and 2 replacements, are listed at the end of this section.

 

The AOIFE Council convened two meetings in 2006, a Council meeting on 29 August 2006 in Lodz, Poland, with the ‘old’ council and a meeting on 31 August 2006 at the same place with the ‘new’ council. In the latter Council meeting, the council set as its priorities to seek for interesting research possibilities (a.o. within the 7th Framework Programme of the EC), address policy issues in the field of Women’s Studies and gender research in Europe, and prepare the new professional association.

 

Apart from these meetings, the AOIFE Council and Secretariat have had regular contact via e-mail and telephone to exchange information and take decisions on various AOIFE matters.

 

Council Members (2006-2009):

 

President: Prof. Kirsi Saarikangas

University of Helsinki, Finland

 

Vice-President: Prof. Adelina Sanchez Espinosa

University of Granada, Spain

 

Prof. Nicky Le Feuvre

University of Toulouse Le Mirail, France

 

Prof. Ulla Holm

Göteborg University, Sweden

 

Prof. Rosemarie Buikema

Utrecht University, the Netherlands

 

Sandra Prlenda, MA
Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb, Croatia

 

Council replacements:

 

Prof. Marcella Corsi

ASDO, Italy

 

Kristin Astgeirsdottir, MA

University of Iceland, Iceland

 

 

VII. AOIFE Secretariat

 

The AOIFE Secretariat is located at Utrecht University until the next AOIFE General Assembly in 2009. At the AOIFE Secretariat, Jeannette van der Sanden works as Managing Director of AOIFE. In 2006, the AOIFE secretariat has formalised its relation with the hosting institute, the Research Institute for Culture and History, in a contract.

 

The Secretariat is responsible for performing coordination and administrative tasks related to AOIFE’s activities, members, and networking in Europe.

Specific tasks undertaken by the Utrecht Secretariat in 2006 were: the preparation of Council meetings, the General Assembly and AOIFE council elections; handling finances (budgets and membership fees); maintaining the membership database and the AOIFE website; correspondence with the council and AOIFE contact persons; recruitment of new members.

 

Contact details:

AOIFE Secretariat

c/o Utrecht University

Faculty of Arts

Research Institute for Culture and History

Muntstraat 2A

3512 EV Utrecht

The Netherlands

Tel: +31-30-2536001

Fax: +31-30-2536134

aoife@let.uu.nl

www.let.uu.nl/aoife

 

Please note that the AOIFE Secretariat has a new telephone and fax number.

 

 

VIII. Information

 

·                      AOIFE News

In May 2006 an AOIFE Newsletter was distributed to the contact persons of the AOIFE members. News from AOIFE was also published in the 7th Volume of the ATHENA publication “The making of European Women’s Studies” (2006).

 

·                      AOIFE Brochure

In June 2006 a new AOIFE brochure was made, which was updated after the new council was elected, in October 2006.

 

·                      AOIFE Website

The website of AOIFE www.let.uu.nl/aoife was regularly updated, listing new members, the new council, and minutes of the General Assembly.

 

·                      AOIFE mailing

In October 2006 all AOIFE members were sent the minutes of the General Assembly, a list of AOIFE members and contact persons, the Annual Report 2005, and the AOIFE brochure.

 

 

IX. Membership

 

AOIFE is composed of institutional members. There are two types of membership: institutional membership for institutions of higher education, research, and documentation centres (annual membership fee 500 Euro) and associate membership for local / national / European associations, coordinating bodies, etc. (annual membership fee 250 Euro). In special cases, members can be granted exemption from paying their annual membership fee. Requests for exemption must be renewed every year.


In September 2006 the AOIFE Secretariat has mailed all ATHENA III partners that were not yet AOIFE members to encourage them to become an AOIFE member.

 

AOIFE saw a small change in membership figures from 2005 to 2006, from 83 to 84 members, representing 27 European countries. In 2006 four new members were accepted and three cancellations were made.

 


Membership as of 31 December

2005

2006

AOIFE members

83

84

ATHENA partners (of the total members) *

63

57

Institutional members (of the total members)

75

76

Associate members (of the total members)

8

8

Exemptions (of the total members) **

7

9

 

* ATHENA partners: for 2005 ATHENAII partners, for 2006 ATHENAIII partners

** 9 exemptions = 4 permanent exemptions & 4 exemptions granted for 2006 & 1 exemption for housing the AOIFE Secretariat

 

Country distribution of  AOIFE members

2005

2006

Austria

2

2

Belgium

3

3

Croatia

1

1

Cyprus

1

1

Czech Republic

0

1

Denmark

4

4

Finland

7

7

France

3

3

Germany

3

3

Greece

1

1

Hungary

1

1

Iceland

1

1

Ireland

2

3

Italy

11

11

Latvia

1

1

Lithuania

1

0

Macedonia

1

1

Netherlands

5

5

Norway

5

5

Poland

1

1

Portugal

1

1

Serbia

3

3

Slovakia

1

1

Slovenia

1

2

Spain

5

5 (+1&-1)

Sweden

9

9

Switzerland

2

2

United Kingdom

7

6

TOTAL

83

84

 


X. AOIFE Finances

 

(See Appendix 1: AOIFE Budget result 2006 and Appendix 2: AOIFE Budget 2007)

 

The financial situation of AOIFE in general is healthy. The year 2006 was closed with a substantial surplus, due to more income than estimated and less expenses than estimated. The sum with which AOIFE started in 2006 had to be corrected, because in the budget result of 2005 the salary cost for the managing director of that year were not included completely and because with the move of the secretariat from Linkoping to Utrecht in 2005 some income was doubly booked.

 

The income in 2006 consisted of the membership fees paid for 2006 as well as a large number of membership fees paid that were still due for 2005. This was due to the late sending out of invoices in 2005. In 2006, 51 fees for 2006, 31 fees for 2005, and 1 fee for 2004 were received. The AOIFE secretariat continues to actively pursue institutions to pay their overdue membership fees. The situation however is that several institutions are listed as members, but do not pay their membership fees. Sending out reminders and informing members that their membership will be cancelled when they do not pay, does not always result in a payment of overdue fees.

 

The ATHENA central coordination financially supported AOIFE by paying for the travel and subsistence costs of AOIFE Council members to attend the 2006 Council meeting in Lodz, which was organised in conjunction with the ATHENA Annual Meeting.

 

The Research Institute of Utrecht University supports AOIFE by providing an office space, computer and copying facilities, and covering telephone and postage costs for the AOIFE Secretariat. It is however difficult to estimate what the height is of this contribution.

 

The expenses in 2006 included personnel costs for the managing director, contributions to the 6th European Gender Research Conference in Lodz (registration fees and hotel costs for AOIFE council members who coordinated workshop strands at the conference plus a contribution for the conference proceedings), and expenses for the Council meeting in Lodz (which were paid by ATHENA). 

 

Other costs, representing a very small proportion of the expenses, were printing costs (these are low in 2006, because the printing office still needs to send two invoices for printing the AOIFE brochures), travel costs of the AOIFE Secretariat to attend the EPWS networking meeting, representation costs, and banking costs.

 

The office costs of the AOIFE Secretariat are included in the budget pro memorie, because it is difficult to estimate the costs of housing and facilities.

 

 

 

Kirsi Saarikangas,                                                                   Jeannette van der Sanden,

President AOIFE                                                                    Managing Director AOIFE

 


Appendix 1: AOIFE Budget result 2006

 

 

AOIFE Budget result 2006 - EURO

Estimated

Result

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surplus at end of 2005

24.164,00

23.120,00

(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INCOME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Membership fees

 

 

 

 

Membership fees 2004

 

500,00

(2)

 

Membership fees 2005

15.750,00

15.250,00

(3)

 

Membership fees 2006

24.250,00

24.500,00

(4)

 

Membership fees 2007

 

500,00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other income

 

 

 

 

ATHENA support for Council meeting Lodz

1.400,00

4.575,70

(5)

 

RICH support for office costs AOIFE Secretariat

 

p.m.

(6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sum income

41.400,00

45.325,70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPENSES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personnel costs

 

 

 

 

Salary managing director

12.132,00

11.826,34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material costs

 

 

 

 

Registration fees and hotel costs Lodz conference

2.800,00

2.800,00

(7)

 

Contribution to Lodz conference proceedings

2.000,00

2.440,00

 

 

Council meeting fall 2006

7.000,00

4.575,70

(5)

 

Printing costs

500,00

25,00

(8)

 

Unexpected expenses

1.500,00

 

 

 

  

Travel costs AOIFE secretariat

 

50,75

 

 

 

Representation

 

13,83

 

 

 

Banking costs

 

59,28

 

 

Office costs AOIFE Secretariat

 

p.m.

(6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sum expenses

25.932,00

21.790,90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Result year 2006

15.468,00

23.534,80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surplus at end of 2006

39.632,00

46.654,80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Correction over 2005 of minus € 1.044,-

 

 

 

 

(2) 1 X 500

 

 

 

 

(3) 30 X 500 and 1 x 250

 

 

 

 

(4) 48 X 500 and  2 x 250

 

 

 

 

(5) Travel and subsistence costs of 10 AOIFE council members paid by ATHENA for Council meeting Lodz, August 2006

(6) Research Institute for Culture and History of Utrecht University pays for office costs (computer, telephone, mailing, etc.)

(7) Registration fees and hotel costs for 6 AOIFE council members who were workshop strand coordinators at conference

(8) Two invoices for printing from 2006 will be paid in 2007 (€ 83,50 + VAT and 93,00 € + VAT)

 

 


Appendix 2: AOIFE Budget 2007

 

 

AOIFE Budget 2007 - EURO

 

Estimated

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surplus at end of 2006

 

46.654,80

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income

 

 

 

 

Membership fees 2005

 

4.000,00

(1)

Membership fees 2006

 

4.500,00

(2)

Membership fees 2007

 

25.000,00

(3)

 

 

 

 

 

ATHENA support for Council meeting Budapest

4.500,00

 

RICH support for office costs AOIFE Secretariat

p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sum income

 

38.000,00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses

 

 

 

Salary managing director

 

12.260,00

 

Preparation 7th Conference 2009

 

1.100,00

 

Travel grants for non-eligible ATHENA partners

1.600,00

(4)

Council meeting 2007-1 Amsterdam

5.300,00

 

Council meeting 2007-2 Budapest

 

4.500,00

 

Workgroup meeting new association fall 2007

6.700,00

(5)

Travel costs AOIFE secretariat

 

250,00

 

Additional secretarial help

 

250,00

 

Advertising AOIFE and ATHENA in European Parliament magazine

1.500,00

 

Printing costs

 

400,00

 

Representation

 

50,00

 

Banking costs

 

70,00

 

Unexpected expenses

 

1.130,00

 

Office costs AOIFE Secretariat

 

p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sum expenses

 

35.110,00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Result year 2007

 

2.890,00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surplus at end of 2007

 

49.544,80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) 8 X 500

 

 

 

 

(2) 9 X 500

 

 

 

(3) 48 X 500 and  4 x 250

 

 

 

(4) Two travel grants of max. € 800,- for Eastern European ATHENA partners to attend annual ATHENA meeting

(5) Estimated travel and subsistence costs for 12 persons (of whom only 8 will have to fly)