ATGENDER has been founded in 2009 by three keyplayers in the field of gender, feminist and women’s studies in Europe.


WISE has been the pioneer in organizing the practitioners in women’s studies. WISE was founded in 1990 in Driebergen, The Netherlands. Its accomplishments are: individual membership in many European countries; a successful connection with a major A-status journal (The European Journal of Women’s Studies); and a very successful online discussion list: WISE-L (both in French and in English).


AOIFE was founded in 1996 at an international women’s studies conference in Limerick, Ireland. Over 100 Women’s Studies representatives from institutions of higher education throughout Europe met to form AOIFE. AOIFE had 82 members from 29 European countries. AOIFE has been instrumental in the creation of the ATHENA network. Under the auspices of AOIFE, the triennial European Feminist Research Conferences have been organised. AOIFE has successfully supported and facilitated major research applications, such as Marie Curie EST, and projects in the 5th , 6th and 7th Framework Programme.


ATHENA, the Socrates thematic network, coordinated by Utrecht University, for 10 years of EU funded activities has played a crucial role in the construction of an academic infrastructure of programmes, centres and departments in gender studies. ATHENA had over 100 institutional partners and involved active participation of 150 gender studies specialists in almost every European country. The results and achievements of the ATHENA network consist of a successful publication series The Making of European Women’s Studies (eight volumes published so far), a website, a range of educational innovations and quality assurance projects and the established international reputation that has been built up over the years within the field of European gender studies. ATGENDER will continue many of ATHENA’s activities.