About Us

Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program fostering student-centered learning and providing resources and community to students, faculty, and staff at Villanova University. The program encourages critical thinking about gender difference and sexuality at local, national, and global levels through courses and programming that challenge sex-biased generalizations and stereotypes. It provides alternatives for thinking about the problems of the world and the contributions of its people.

The curriculum stresses the exploration of the oretical and practical concepts of power, as applied to gender and sexuality and to all forms of oppression through a genuinely interdisciplinary approach.Honoring the social as well as the scholarly and intellectual traditions of the discipline, our courses draw on feminist models of collaborative learning and pedagogy and value the knowledge and authority that students as well as teachers bring to the classroom. Across the GWS curriculum, students experience the dynamic process of integrating the quest for knowledge with personal experience, through courses that give them a voice, a sense of identity, and ways to work for social change.

Gender and Women's Studies courses prepare women and men to think critically about the stereotypes that inform our understandings of gender and sexuality; encourage respect for difference and cultural diversity; and foster awareness of current and historical role models that can empower all students and promote equality. Our program is integral to the implementation of the University’s mission. It furthers the search for social justice, seeks to foster every student’s potential, and also seeks to help the University meet its goal of attracting and retaining a diverse student population. Gender and Women’s Studies forms an integral and essential part of the scholarly tradition of the academy.

students in college

What is Gender and Women's Studies?

abstract image of gender and womens studies

Identifies gender and sexuality as fundamental to the ways that men and women understand themselves

Focuses on the position of women and men and causes us to rethink history and culture

Examines human sexualities within their historical constructs and changing societal norms

Analyzes the implications of gender roles in the past and present

Considers social and cultural consequences for both women and men of gender divisions and sex-role restrictions

Addresses the history and achievements of women

Empowers students by developing the skills needed to reason and argue competently, thus giving them a voice and sense of identity to work for change