The Women’s Center advances gender equity across identities. We educate and inspire feminist leaders, advance an empowering intellectual environment, and advocate for an equitable University culture and community.
The Women's Center envisions an equitable university in which all people share collective responsibility to promote mutual respect and success for everyone. The Women's Center strives to be a national model toward this end, in solidarity with its local and national partners.
Why a Women's Center?
Why a Women's Center?
At the Women's Center, we are often asked questions about who we are, what we do, and if the work we do regarding women's and gender equity is necessary. Our answer is unequivocally yes. Around the world, the fight for gender equity continues. While we gratefully acknowledge the progress that's been made in many arenas, there is still a lot of ground to cover. We created this online module as well as this handout to help you find some facts about the progress, the incredible inequalities we still have to tackle, and some of the organizations that are working to create change.
The first campus-based women's center in the country, the University of Minnesota’s Women's Center was founded in 1960 as the Minnesota Plan for the Continuing Education of Women. The plan was created in order to address the needs of women whose education had been interrupted by marriage and motherhood. It became the first women’s center on a university campus and continues to serve as an example for college women’s centers across the country. The center has undergone several name changes, the most recent being the Women’s Center.
Throughout its rich, 50+-year history the Women’s Center has established many women’s initiatives that have emerged as their own entities, created grants and awards for women students, and has consistently responded to the dynamic needs of its diverse constituency. A catalyst for women’s equity, the Women’s Center supports the University community in its efforts to create a healthy climate in which women flourish and reach their full potential in both the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.
For more information about the history of the Women’s Center, view a selection of historical documents courtesy of the University Archives.