AOIFE 1997 Annual Report

The Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and Research in Europe


AOIFE, founded at an international conference for women in Limerick Ireland in December 1996, is a European association for international co-operation within Women’s Studies and gender research.

1997 represented a significant year for AOIFE. The establishment of the Secretariat, the first General Assembly, the election of the Council, the ratification of the Statutes, the submission of the ATHENA application and preparations for submiting it again in the 98 round, and the outlining of future plans and priorities were among the pivotal events for AOIFE occuring in 1997. In addition, AOIFE´s growing membership base has provided AOIFE will a secure financial base from which to operate.

I. Secretariat

In April, the Secretariat was moved to NIKK, the Nordic Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Research at the University of Oslo, Norway from Limerick University in Ireland, where it had been on an interim basis. Provided the NIKK Board of Directors grants its approval, the Secretariat will remain at NIKK until the next AOIFE General Assembly in 2000, when the location of the Secretariat will then be voted on.

The Secretariat is responsible for performing co-ordination and administrative tasks related to AOIFE and its activities, members, etc. The Secretariat hired a consultant in May, who allotted 500 hours to AOIFE in 1997. Some specific tasks undertaken by the Secretariat in 1997: Co-ordinating the first AOIFE General Assembly ; Collecting/ recording membership fees; Budgets /accounts for the period 1997-2000; Building, maintaining membership databases; Creation of the archives/filing system; Completion of new graphic profile (logo, letterheads, envelopes); Arrangement of IRC (electronic) Council meeting in January 1998; Sending newsletters and AOIFE News to members; Building of AOIFE homepage and writing AOIFE brochure (released in Feb. 98).

The first year of the Secretariat has required much work in order to build up its infrastructure and to organise, systematise, and implement its new practices and policies. As a result of this, the hours spent on Secretariat tasks in 1997 are expected to be more than in coming years.

II. General Assembly

A pivotal event for AOIFE in 1997 was the convening of the first AOIFE General Assembly, at which the Council was elected, the Statutes were ratified, the membership type and fees were decided upon (see membership), as well as other important decisions for the future of the association were made.

III. AOIFE Council

The current Council was elected unanimously at the AOIFE General Assembly, on July 7, 1997 in Coimbra, Portugal. The AOIFE Council is composed of nine members and two replacement members. Council terms are three years and the next Council elections will be held at the next General Assembly in 2000.

Council members:

President: Graca Abranches, Coimbra University, Portugal.

Vice- President: Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University, Netherlands.

Mary Conway, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.

Fride Eeg-Henriksen, NIKK, Norway.

Gabriele Griffin, Leeds Metropolitan University, U.K.

Nina Lykke, Odense University, Denmark.

Margarita Birriel Salcedo, University of Granada, Spain.

Harriet Silius, Åbo Academi University, Finland.

Anna Maria Tagliavini, Women´s Documentation Center, Italy.

Replacement: Jalna Hanmer, Leeds Metropolitan University, U.K.

Replacement: Diana Mulinari, Lund University, Sweden.

IV. Membership

Types and fees of membership were decided upon at the AOIFE General Assembly in Coimbra (7.97). AOIFE is composed of institutional (not individual) members. The two types of membership available are institutional, granted to institutions of higher education, research, and documentation centres (membership fee of 500 ECU); and associate membership, granted to local/national/ European associations, co-ordinating bodies, etc. (membership fee 250 ECU). AOIFE members institutions represtent 25 differenet European countries.

As of 31.12.97:

Total number of members: 70

Institutional members: 65

Associate members: 5

Exempted from payment: 6

ATHENA partners: 60

Contact persons in memb. institutions: 120

V. Activities/Projects

AOIFE´s first and most significant activity underway is ATHENA (Advanced Thematic Network in Women’s Studies in Europe). In April the ATHENA application was submitted to EU´s Socrates Programme to attain funding. Though it was deemed "good", the application was not accepted in 1997 and for the remainder of the year ATHENA partners and working groups have collaborated to rewrite the application for the 1998 round. Athena’s two working groups-- one focusing on Women’s Studies curriculum development and the other on applications and uses of information technology in Women’s Studies-- held a crucial meeting in January of 1998 in preparation for improving the new application. In February 1998, ATHENA´s Letter of Intent was approved and the ATHENA application will thereby be submitted for the final round in April of 1998. The ATHENA Co-ordination is located at Utrecht University.

In 1997, AOIFE began planning for possible projects to initiate/ apply for under the new EU Fifth Framework (1998-2001).

In addition to EU-related activities, AOIFE has prioritised the following activities/roles:

Spreading information about AOIFE- related events/issues; Networking within the European Women’s Studies community; Lobbying for the advancement of European Women’s Studies.

VI. Finances

AOIFE´s accounting figures for 1997 are recorded in the attached Accounts (tables I and II).

1997 represented a promising and stable year in regard to AOIFE´s financial situation. AOIFE ´s income totalled at 43,794 ECU in 1997 (see Accounts, Table II), with 60 full-paying members. These monies were used to cover wages for one consultant and accumulated hours for an accountant, the Council’s and Secretariat’s travel costs to central meetings, printing costs, etc. The Secretariat’s expenses for 1997 totalled at 30,163 ECU, leaving a surplus of 13, 631 ECU.

In reviewing Accounts 1997, Table I, you will note that the primary sources of income were membership dues and the subsidies provided by the University of Oslo and NIKK. The University of Oslo supplies free office space and equipment to the Secretariat at NIKK (subsidy valued at 4,938 ECU in ´97). NIKK´s contributes consulting hours to the Secretariat (estimated value of 7,167 ECU, see Accounts, Table I). Additional subsidies, not caluclated in Accounts, are connected to the Secretariat´s free access to NIKK´s infrasturcture, which include the inclusion and dissemination of "AOIFE News" in it´s bi-annual newsletter News from NIKK, use of NIKK´s network, contact lists, library, etc.

NIKK is in the process of writing a contract (to be approved by the Council) which will establish and clarify the financial and administrative agreement between NIKK and the AOIFE Secretariat.

The calculations found in the attached Accounts illustrate that AOIFE is highly dependent on incoming membership dues and the contributions from NIKK and Oslo University for its financial stability.

AOIFE Homehome10

31.01.2001 / BST