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Ideology

Women's Studies developed across Europe by following the variety of academic and cultural traditions in the different countries. As a result, it is an area in which the structure and contents of educational programmes currently vary widely across Europe. Therefore, a strong need exists for cross-cultural and multicultural analysis and comparison in the area of Women's Studies education. This need is made stronger by the fact that most Women's Studies curricula at present are dominated by North American perspectives and materials, and that the European perspective is underrepresented. Moreover, being multi-disciplinary, multicultural and socially oriented, Women's Studies requires specific curricula innovation and teaching methods. The Advanced Thematic Network in Activities in Women's Studies provides a unique opportunity to systematise the comparison of European perspectives and thus contribute to a more precise definition of interdisciplinary gender-education.

The disciplinary fields concerned are the Humanities, Social Sciences and Technology Studies, including Law, Administrative studies, Political Science, Business Studies, Education, Health and Medicine. Thus, there are five main reasons for creating a Thematic Network Project in the field of Women's Studies: To implement the recommendations of the European Subject Area Evaluation in Women's Studies (1994/95) and build on activities, aims and objectives developed at European level and to spread and implement the findings by producing reports, articles, teaching books and manuals. To further develop and increase the exchange of ideas, expertise, and insights across national borders in order to promote effective discussion and comparison of curricula, methods and material in Women's Studies teaching. To contribute an added value to the partner institutions, since a large number will be able to use and profit from the expertise of former small scale European co-operation projects. The participating institutions will profit from pooling their expertise in their respective areas and thus allow for transferral of knowledge and good practice. The broader field of Women's Studies, and beyond, will profit through the channels of dissemination of activities, through co-operation with the participating documentation centres and international networks such as WITEC, as well as through the interdisciplinary focus. To develop competence in feminist education and research in order to contribute to the knowledge and good practices needed for the mainstreaming of European policies on science, technology and higher education, with regard to equal opportunities. To contribute to equal opportunities policies and practices - in keeping with the European Commission's commitment to equal work - equal pay - as well as to social and economic development.
 
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