As the Final Report of the University of Wisconsin System Task Force on Women's Studies wrote in 1974, a major objective of Women's Studies is ‘to raise the aspirations of women, expanding their sense of possible future alternatives and opportunities and their own capabilities. The concurrent purpose is to enable men to widen their spheres of development for they, too, have been limited by narrow traditional concepts of ‘women's roles’ and ‘men's roles.’” Since 1974, Women's Studies has achieved some of these goals, and as part of the continuing efforts to advance equality for women, the UW Colleges Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program has as its mission to introduce students to the scholarship on and by women within all academic disciplines.

The UW Colleges Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program addresses three areas of learning: curriculum, research, and civic and community engagement. Part of our mission is to extend learning from the classroom to research, service learning, and community outreach. We strive to balance traditional approaches to academic disciplines with a gender-focused perspective and to help students develop a general understanding of patriarchy and how it has affected, and continues to affect, women's and men's lives.