Symbolbild Gender Studies

Gender Studies at the University of Innsbruck

Despite the rhetoric, gender still plays an enormous role in our society, for some individuals even a vital role.

If we look at the choice of study programmes and professions, we notice some striking gender-based patterns, which cannot be explained by personal interests. If we look at the field of computer science, the technical sciences or the philological sciences, we see a disproportionate share of women and men.

Not only with respect to the subject – but also horizontal, e.g. the professional hierarchies – there are big differences: The higher up in hierarchy, the bigger the dominance of males. Among university professors, the highest level of an academic career, there are only around 20% women. Gender research sees this repetitive patterns as a fact produced by society. It has been scientifically researching these phenomena for more than 40 years and has succeeded in this time to clearly demonstrate the way gender influences social structure.

In the bodies of knowledge of the respective disciplines gender research has uncovered a universal androcentrism that is usually considered as matter-of-course. This means that one point of view, the men, the male perspective and their experiences are seen as sole base and norm for research and teaching; women and the female view on the other hand are – if at all – seen as the extraordinary and deviating. There are numerous examples in which the objectiveness and general validity of scientific findings prooved to be a chimaera, if considered from an approach based on gender-research: For example, if the “general” right to vote in Austria is said to have been in 1907, but women were actually only allowed to vote from 1919 onwards.

Most of the about 120 curricula of the University of Innsbruck have integrated modules and courses dealing with gender-specific perspectives of the resp. discipline for almost 10 years now. This is also the case in areas which at first glance seem to have no relevance for gender questions like e.g. technical science or computer science. This offer is based on the Universities’ Act 2002, in which the university committed to contribute to a more “humane and gender-equitable society” (§ 1 UG 2002): Graduates of the University of Innsbruck should have learned within the scope of their study programme (Bachelor, Master & PhD) about the gender aspects of their study programme and should contribute in their future professional practice to the goals of the university.

As well as rooting gender studies into the different disciplines, the University of Innsbruck also offers an interfaculty and interdisciplinary Master’s study programme focusing on gender (social gender) and imparts knowledge on how gender aspects of the different disciplines interact.

This twofold integration of Gender Studies in the offers is a special feature of the University of Innsbruck.


Overview of the gender-specific teaching offer of the University of Innsbruck   

To the interfaculty Master’s Study Programme Gender, Culture and Social Change   

Contact and information

To the coordinating Office for Equality and Gender Studies  


Mag.a Maria Furtner
Office for Equality and Gender Studies


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