By Nina Lykke and Berit Starkman.


The year 2002 has started with a heavy, but most inspiring work load: two big applications have been prepared, one by the AOIFE secretariat in Linkoeping, and one by the ATHENA co-ordination in Utrecht.

On the AOIFE council meeting in Madrid (Oct. 01), it was decided to prepare an application for the 3rd call of the Socio-economic programme of EU's 5th Framework Programme. The proposal for a thematic network "Gender and Diversity: Towards a European Feminist Research Institute" was prepared by the AOIFE secretariat and sent to Brussels in January this year. The idea is to create a thematic research network that can enhance the infrastructure for research collaboration within AOIFE and with potential new partners, interested in Gender and Diversity research. Via the networking, we will also explore the possibilities for creating a permanent European structure - a European Feminist Research Institute.

Another major task has been carried out by the ATHENA co-ordination in Utrecht this spring. ATHENA 1(1998-2001) was successfully finalised in December, where the reports from the 5 ATHENA 1 panels of experts were sent to Brussels. At the ATHENA-meeting in Madrid (Oct. 01), ATHENA-members enthusiastically decided to continue the work and prepare an application for an ATHENA 2. On advice from Brussels, this work was divided into two steps. A first step is an application for a one-year dissemination project, i.e. for money so that the ATHENA 1 panels can distribute the results of their work effectively to the Women's Studies community in Europe and outside as well as to policy makers, universities and other interested parties. A second step is an application for an ATHENA 2 project. (For more info contact the Utrecht ATHENA co-ordination: Sanne Hirs:

Apart from preparing the above mentioned research application on the "Gender and Diversity"-project, the AOIFE secretariat is also busy preparing to transform AOIFE News into a proper newsletter to be issued twice a year. AOIFE News have until now been published as part of the newsletter of the Nordic Institute for Women's and Gender Studies, NIKK, the former host of the secretariat. However, in order to make AOIFE more visible as an organisation, the AOIFE Council has decided to start publishing an independent AOIFE Newsletter and delegated the task to the AOIFE secretariat in Linkoeping. The first issue of the newsletter is being prepared for publication in the autumn 2002. Three Ph.D. students from Gender Studies in Linkoeping, Anna Adjeniji, Stine Adrian and Paula Mulinari have volunteered to take on the job of making the ideas become real - in collaboration with AOIFE's administrative co-ordinator Berit Starkman and managing director Nina Lykke.

Last but not least Nina Lykke represented AOIFE on a networking meeting for networks of women in science, arranged by the Women and Science Unit in DG Research in Brussels on Feb 1. Maria Puig was invited to represent NextGenderation on this meeting. The purpose was to discuss steps to be taken in setting up a European Platform of Women Scientists. The participants in the meeting were representatives of European and national networks of women in science and representatives of European gender studies. The meeting was a follow-up of earlier initiatives by the European Commission/The Women and Science Unit to promote the participation of women in science as well as gender research. Moreover, the meeting was in line with the EU-Commission's recently adopted Action Plan on Science and Society (COM(2001)714 final of 4 Dec.2001) which has announced the intention to set up a European Platform of Women Scientists to bring together networks of women scientists and organisations committed to gender equality in scientific research. The meeting was very positive. A call for applications for a feasibility study as regards preparations for a network of networks for women in science will be launched this spring. (For more information, check the following WebPage: