Women’s, gender and sexuality studies are expanding. In addition to the pioneering disciplines of anthropology, history and sociology, literature, philosophy, psychology, language sciences and, in recent years, political science, performing arts, geography, economics, information and communication sciences, education sciences and law have been added. All of this research constitutes an important part of the current research landscape in the humanities and social sciences, which is rich, innovative and inventive, and where quality work on gender abounds.
The multiplicity and diversity of this field of research, which is still not very unified and organised due to the dispersion of researchers, is often carried out by temporary and insufficiently recognised structures. These structures do not have the necessary coherence to allow for the long-term development and ensure the international influence of gender studies in France, despite the significant demand from institutions and social actors, and the marked interest of young researchers in these issues.
This is why the INSHS decided in 2011 to place gender studies at the top of its priorities, and to act in favour of a more ambitious scientific development of gender research, and in particular of certain hitherto neglected areas. Following on from other operations such as the national census of research on women and/or gender conducted by the Mission pour la place des femmes at the CNRS, a coordination structure was created in 2012 to articulate the work, research units and disciplines around such an object. Through the involvement of the various partners, the aim is to build on an already considerable scientific heritage, to perpetuate existing scientific mobilisations and to encourage new ones throughout the country, while contributing to the necessary institutionalisation of this field of research.