Milestones of the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa

1970   Thanks to the pioneering work of our foremothers, disciplines such as English, history, lettres françaises, political science, psychology, religious studies and sociology introduce the first University of Ottawa courses about women's studies in their programs.

1980   A women's studies coordinating committee comprising professors and students from the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, devises the blueprints and framework for a women's studies program.

1983   The expansion of women's studies at the University of Ottawa leads to a reorganization of its administrative structure. The Senate officially approves the establishment of a bilingual women's studies undergraduate program, attached to the Office of the Vice-Rector (Academic). These changes are endorsed by the central administration, which also commits, in its mission statement, to be a leader in the "promotion of women in all aspects of university life."

1985   The Office of the Secretary of State created a Joint Chair in Women's Studies held by the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The five regional Chairs of Women's Studies in Canada are in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec and Halifax.

1992   The Women's Studies Program receives generous support from two major external donors: the Bank of Montreal, which grants funds for a visiting scholar in Women's Studies Program, and the Women's Studies Development Fund, established through the generosity of the Minto Foundation to promote Women's Studies and increase its visibility.

1995   Another turning point in the history of Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa is the creation of a Collaborative Program in Women's Studies at the Master's level. This fully bilingual program combines studies in the collaborating disciplines with feminist analysis and a specialization in Women's Studies. There are currently sixteen participating disciplines.

1999   The Institute of Women's Studies replaces the Women's Studies Program. This is a major step, which clearly reflects the growth of this dynamic field at the University of Ottawa. In the meantime, revenues generated from the Minto Fund allow the launch of the Annual Shirley Greenberg Lecture in Women's Studies.

2000     Hiring of the first two cross-appointed professors attached directly to the Institute of Women’s Studies with a secondary affiliation to another discipline. Over the next twelve years, seven additional professors are hired.

2004     The Institute of Women’s Studies moves under the administration of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

2004     The Institute of Women’s Studies receives generous support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to welcome a “Visiting Scholar in Feminist Perspectives on Globalization” (Carleton University-University of Ottawa, 2004-2008).

2005     The acquisition of the Canada Research Chair in Gender, Migration and Health (secondary affiliation with the Institute of Population Health) (2005-2015).

2008     The Institute of Women’s Studies receives generous support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to launch Phase II to welcome a “Visiting Scholar in Feminist Perspectives on Globalization” (Carleton University-University of Ottawa, 2008-2010).

2008     The creation and launch of a Master’s and a PhD in Women’s Studies in both French and English.  

2011     The creation of the Women’s Studies Graduate Students Association (WSGSA).

2012     Launch of the newly reformed undergraduate programs of the Institute of Women’s Studies.

2014     The Institute of Women's Studies renamed the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies.

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