RINGS – The International Research Association of Institutions of Advanced Gender Studies

RINGS is an international association with the aim of bringing together research institutions engaged in gender and feminist research on a global basis. The principal purpose of the association is to promote advanced and transformative research in transnational cooperation between member institutions. RINGS thus seeks to advance disciplinary and transdisciplinary gender and feminist research with the explicit aim of addressing social inequalities that have gendered roots or consequences. With the global advancement of gender as a key issue in contemporary social movements and cultural formations we believe it is of outmost importance to connect scholarly work in gender studies worldwide. Global inclusiveness is a key notion for the association that is unique within the research field of gender studies. RINGS is a registered organisation with the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission's Transparency Register.

Gender studies have expanded dramatically over recent years with regard to scope, depth, and academic infrastructure. The current momentum in research, networking and activism contributes to our belief that it is time to build effective, sustainable networks for taking gender and related inequalities and discrimination more seriously in research. RINGS is doing this by: creating virtual and physical meeting places for generations of gender scholars in various parts of the world; systematically organizing knowledge, know-how and an inventory of funding options for joint projects, and research collaborations; promoting researchers’ mobility, and organizing exchange of scholars between member institutions. 

Our understanding of gender is inclusive, reaching across many fields but with the common denominator of promoting critical, self-reflective gender and feminist research. Our intention is to counter the Western base of gender studies, and continuously work to include institutions in the Global South and post-socialist Europe. We strongly encourage transdisciplinary work across the Social Sciences, Humanities, Medicine, Science, Engineering and other fields.

RINGS is registered and located at the Institute of Thematic Gender Studies, a three-university co-operation between Karlstad, Linköping and Örebro Universities in Sweden.

The inaugural General Assembly of RINGS took place at Örebro University, October 23-24, 2014. The inaugural meeting was attended by representatives of 21 centres from 14 countries, with further 16 further institutions showing interest in joining. Participating centres spanned Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America. The meeting approved the constitution and created working groups.

The 2nd General Assembly was held at the Centre for Gender and Science, Prague, Czech Republic, November 5-6, 2015. The meeting was attended by representatives of 22 centres from 13 countries, with apologies from 12 further institutions.

The 3rd General Assembly was hosted by at the University of Western Cape, South Africa, November 16-18, 2016, with representatives from 14 centres and apologies from 10 further institutions.

The 4th General Assembly was held at University of Iceland, Reykjavík, October 4-6, 2017 with the representatives from 21 centres, with apologies from 8 further institutions.

The 5th General Assembly was hosted by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (CIEG) in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP), at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, October 17-19, 2018.

The 6th General Assembly was held at Tallinn, Estonia, October 2-4, 2019, and was hosted by the Gender Studies Research Group at Tallinn University.

The 7th General Assembly was held online, December 4, 2020, with representatives from 24 centres and apologies from further 9 institutions.

RINGS now has over 60 member institutions from 28 countries from Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America.

The current Executive Committee comprises the following institutions:

  • Centre for Gender and Science, Prague, Czech Republic (Blanka Nyklová)
  • Centre for Gender, Culture and Social Processes, University of Delhi (Karen Gabriel)
  • Center for Gender Studies, Tallinn University, Estonia (Kadri Aavik)
  • Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of the Western Cape, South Africa (Tamara Shefer)
  • EDDA and UNU-GEST, University of Iceland, Iceland (Irma Erlingsdóttir)
  • Gender and Childhood Sexuality, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Deevia Bhana)
  • Gender Institute, Australian National University, Australia (Fiona Jenkins)
  • Gender Studies Research Group/Institute of English and American Studies, TNT, University of Szeged, Hungary (Erzsébet Barát)
  • GODESS (Gender, Organisation, Diversity, Equality, Social Sustainability) Institute, Hanken School of Economics, Finland, (Jeff Hearn)
  • Graduate Gender Programme/Netherlands Research School, Utrecht University, the Netherlands (Eva Midden/Kathrin Thiele)
  • Institute for Gender Studies, University of South Africa, (Itumeleng Mothoagae)

with the following officers:

For inquiries about institutional membership, please contact Jeff Hearn and Tamara Shefer.

Constitution is available to download here.

You can also download RINGS leaflet or read the story of RINGS.