TSU INSTITUTE OF GENDER STUDIES
The Institute of Gender Studies was created in 2012 as a supplementary educational unit of Tbilisi State University. It provides administrative and general support for existing academic programs and research projects on gender issues.
The aims of the Institute of Gender Studies include the development of gender related interdisciplinary research and studies; creating an institutional platform for academic personnel and PhD students working on gender issues; integrating gender-related subjects into the university educational programs and research; and raising public awareness of gender inequalities and how to resolve them, especially targeting university students, professors, administrative personnel and society at large.
According to the Head of the Institute of Gender Studies, Associate Professor Tamar Sabedashvili, Gender Studies developed first in the 1990s in European and American academic institutions and is a relatively new discipline for Georgia. The TSU Institute is still the only one of its kind in the Caucasus countries. This area of studies is especially significant for the analysis of social relations, the study of women’s rights and position in society, the study of femininity, masculinity and other gender identities, and for applying gender as an analytical category to analyze the distribution of power and resources.
In the longer term, the Institute will carry out research projects and offer students a number of extra-curricular activities. At this stage, the Institute organizes monthly public lectures and annual research conferences on gender and women’s rights. Regular lectures and conferences are essential for the development of academic debates and discussions. The institute closely collaborates with the Centre for Social Sciences (the Institute was founded with the support of the Center for Social Sciences) and its graduates and students are engaged in a number of research projects implemented by the Center related to violence against women, gender roles and stereotypes, as well as the needs and priorities of women’s groups.
The Institute is currently working on small-scale student research projects related to the Institute’s curriculum, including the study of masculinity, historical developments of women’s rights and others. Soon the Institute will create additional academic positions to ensure program stability and further development of research. This will also ensure the support of a PhD program and increase public awareness of the importance of gender as an academic field.