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Center of Excellence Women and Science

About CEWS

The Center of Excellence Women and Science (CEWS) promotes the implementation of gender equality in science and research in Germany. 

CEWS supports evidence-based learning about inequalities and gender equality policies in academia. CEWS is aiming at making research more gender-sensitive, non-discriminatory and respectful, especially for women. In doing so, our work contributes to dismantling hierarchies and privileges that have resulted from systems of structural, social, sexist and other forms of discrimination.

CEWS' activities include and connect research, networking, consulting and scientific services with the aim of building bridges between researchers and gender equality practitioners. CEWS contributes to improving the quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of gender equality policies and measures in academia at the political and organizational levels, as well as at the level of knowledge production.

Since its foundation in 2000, the center's services have been systematically developed in order to effectively respond to the needs of key stakeholders such as researchers, gender equality professionals, stakeholders from science and research as well as policymakers.

Within GESIS, the center forms part of the department ‘Data and Research on Society’ (DRS). Its scope of activity is international. Both national and EU projects are carried out jointly with collaborating institutions. A compilation of current and completed third-party funded projects is linked here.

Five Areas of Activity

CEWS carries out impact and implementation studies on gender equality initiatives in academia. Studies and projects often combine research and service-oriented objectives with policy analysis and evaluation.

CEWS' projects in this field of activity

  • evaluate implementations and impacts of gender equality initiatives;
  • assess how gender equality is taken into consideration in research funding programs;
  • analyze the implementation frameworks of gender equality measures and policies as well as those of scientific careers;
  • map and analyze gender equality policies in academia in the European Union member states;
  • analyze the potential for applying gender equality policy instruments in research and higher education establishments.

This field of activity includes on the one hand reviewing, processing and analyzing current literature on gender inequalities in academia. On the other hand, it includes the implementation of empirical quantitative as well as qualitative studies, mostly financed by public research funders.

CEWS initiates and accompanies discussions and opinion-shaping processes, e.g. for the development of European or national gender equality initiatives in science such as the German Program for Women Professors and on strategic orientations and the development of policies of the European Research Area (ERA) as well as for the European Research Framework programs (FP7, Horizon 2020) to advance gender equality in research performing and funding organizations.

CEWS connects stakeholder groups at regional, national, European and international levels with scientific organizations, politics, state/federal ministries, European and national committees, researchers and networks. One focus area is supporting dialogue between researchers and policymakers.

With a view to better understand gender inequalities and equality politics in academia CEWS' services aim at translating accumulated research findings on gender and inequalities into policies and practices. Our main addressees are universities' equality experts, researchers and research stakeholders, politics as well as society in general. Most services are web-based and present a variety of examples, e.g. specialized online-databases on the CEWS portal, the topical pages, or the electronic CEWSjournal (in German) with 4,300 subscriptions.

CEWS prepares and offers data and information which give detailed insights into gender inequalities in academia as well as into output and impacts of gender equality policies. Although our focus lies on quantitative data, we also include qualitative data such as legal texts, gender equality plans, and similar documents into monitoring exercises. CEWS developed original methods e.g. to monitor and to rank academic institutions in Germany according to gender equality aspects as well as a retrospective prognostic tool for analyses of the vertical disaggregation. Activities in the field of statistics and monitoring connect to an international community, e.g. through participation in the European group "Statistical Correspondents on Women in Science".

CEWS Flyer