Advanced Centre for Women's Studies

Advanced Centre for Women's Studies

Dept. data last updated on :30/01/2023


The Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies envisions creating knowledge that develops new perspectives on gender equality. It also aims at strengthening and advancing feminist pedagogy and fostering links between academic research, and political movements for gender equality and social justice.


To bring conscientization among people and transformation in the society through ‘teaching, research and outreach’.


To help develop critical insight about social realities, lived experiences and systemic oppressions.

Women’s Studies as an academic discipline is relatively young and an unconventional discipline as far as Indian universities are concerned. The relevance of the discipline lies in the fact that it aims to provide a more holistic and nuanced approach towards knowledge production, validation and dissemination. The declaration of the year 2001 as ‘Women’s Empowerment Year’ witnessed the establishment of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Aligarh Muslim University. In furtherance of the objective of the Government of India to make women equal and active partners in the development of the nation, the UGC granted permission on 14 April 2001, for the establishment of the Centre for Women’s Studies (Phase-I) at Aligarh Muslim University. Prof. Zakia A. Siddiqui (former Principal, Women’s College, AMU) was appointed as the Honorary Director of the Centre.

The   Centre for Women’s Studies was inaugurated on 8 November 2001 and has been functioning from the English House, Taar Bungalow premises, since its inception. In its initial years the Centre was engaged only in research and outreach activities. In the academic session 2003-04, Women’s Studies was taught for the first time as a subsidiary subject at undergraduate level in Faculty of Social Sciences. Three boys & eleven girls enrolled in Women’s Studies as a subsidiary subject. The Centre introduced Post-graduate (Part-time) Diploma in Women’s Studies from the academic session 2005-06. The course was open for all disciplines, and students from different backgrounds such as Law, Social Work, Human Rights, Geography and History opted for it. In pursuance of its academic agenda, the Centre started its Ph.D. / M.Phil. Programme from the session 2007-08, with 05 students from different disciplines being admitted in the first batch.

In 2008, the Centre was upgraded from Phase-I to Phase-III owing to its efforts to fulfil the three-fold mandate of Women’s Studies, i.e., Research, Teaching & Outreach.  With the introduction of M.A. in Women’s Studies in 2011-12, P. G. Diploma in Women’s Studies was discontinued.  In 2012, the Centre was granted the status of ‘Advanced Centre’ by UGC.

Women’s Studies was introduced as a main subject at under- graduate level from the academic session 2013-14. The Centre, since its inception, has been organising lectures, workshops, seminars, faculty development programs as well as outreach activities, to fulfil the objective of gender sensitisation both on and off the campus. The Centre has also been implementing the Gender Champions Scheme of UGC in the University since 2016. Postgraduate students of Women’s Studies carry-out field based studies, so as to help them develop an understanding of gender issues, as well as to provide them the experience of working with people. The students are also encouraged to take up internships every semester to add to their experience.