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Welcome to Women's and Gender Studies


The Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Department is an inter- and transdisciplinary department that offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and engages in a wide range of collaborative research projects with local and international partners towards intersectional gender justice.

The Women’s & Gender Studies (WGS) Department is an inter- and transdisciplinary department that emerged out of gender and anti-apartheid activism at UWC in the 1980s and early 1990s. A postgraduate programme offering Honours and Master’s degrees was established in 1995 by a cohort of feminist scholars in diverse disciplines. An undergraduate programme and a doctoral degree were introduced in 2000 and the programme instituted as a Department in 2009.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Department explores questions of social and gender justice and processes of societal and institutional transformation, as well as critical scrutiny of the way that dominant knowledges and practices acquire authority and public visibility.

We are particularly concerned with foregrounding and thinking with alternative knowledges, and the project of reconceptualising orthodox scholarly practices within the larger goal of decolonial, feminist scholarship. Our focus on systemic and structural expressions of power is undertaken through combining interdisciplinary research employing a feminist intersectional approach as well as through our pedagogical practices which employ innovative, critical and feminist pedagogies for social justice.

We position our scholarship within the socio-political, cultural and economic context of national and global change and through teaching and learning that contributes to the development of critically engaged and active citizens. Central to our work is the development of theory, knowledge and expertise for those already working in organizations directed toward gender transformation and sexual rights, as well as for those intending to work in such fields when they finish their degrees.