The Center for Women’s Studies was founded thirty years ago as an autonomous, non-profit, civil society organization. Ever since its establishment, the Center has been focused on the initiation and construction of an alternative, interdisciplinary and comprehensive educational project consisting of a teaching, research and publishing program. These programs are available to the general public and are free of charge.
According to the Statute, the goals of the Center’s activities have always been the promotion of democratic, non-institutional education through fostering a culture of diversity and non-violence. These goals are realized through the lecture topics, research approaches, and publishing policies. In other words, the Center promoted various feminist theories, critical reinterpretation of traditional values from a female perspective, political activism, cooperation with local and regional women’s organizations. The aim of the Center is theoretical research, as well as political action against social practices of discrimination and exclusion based on sex, gender, skin color, class, as well as ethnic, national, religious, and other affiliations.
Since its establishment, the Center’s long-term strategy has been to develop, establish and institutionalize academic programs in the spirit of democratic education and nurturing a culture of dialogue, diversity and non-violence. This strategic goal was achieved in 2003, when the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade, in accordance with the Agreement and in cooperation with the Center for Women’s Studies, established specialist, graduate and master’s studies in the field of Gender Studies.
Today, the Center for Women’s Studies continues and renews its activities within civil society, relying on its experience and human resources, as well as new technologies to strengthen the democratic approach to new educational projects.
The mission of the Center for Women’s Studies is to produce, share and activate feminist knowledge in the society.
The Center for Women’s Studies creates, collects, and affirms feminist knowledge through research, publishing, and professional support. It also conducts interdisciplinary educational programs for the activist, professional and other interested communities. Through the international connection of progressive feminist and leftist forces, the Center for Women’s Studies puts feminist knowledge at the service of activism for social change. The vision of the Center for Women’s Studies is a society in which the access to knowledge is the universal human right and feminist political education is widely available. In such a society, education encourages respect for differences and the fight for equality. It is a society in which feminism is widespread in theory and practice, and its importance for the progress of society is publicly recognized and indisputable.
The basic principles of the Center for Women’s Studies are based on several interconnected and interdependent values:
• Equality is a starting assumption and one of the basic principles in all program activities. Center for Women’s Studies. The emphasis is on the importance of gender equality, in its original authentic interpretation, which is not only our goal but also an equality model for all marginalized and vulnerable groups.
• Respect for diversity, which does not only mean tolerating differences, but also appreciating them genuinly; therefore it also means
• Social inclusion, for all groups of marginalized and excluded people.
Regarding this context, the significant principles for achieving these values are:
• Culture of dialogue, based on a culture of non-violence, as well as
• Critical thinking, for democratic educaton.