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About Us

We encourage critical thinking about gender difference and sexuality at local, national, and global levels through courses and programming that challenge sex-biased generalizations and stereotypes. We provide alternatives for thinking about the problems of the world and the contributions of its people. We also foster student-centered learning and provide resources to students, faculty, and staff at Villanova University.

The curriculum stresses the exploration of theoretical 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 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 community, and an invitation to work for social change.

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