Interview of the Month: gFFZ (07/2018)

Every month, for you, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one Member Association.

Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here

Our member for July is the German association gFFZ



Dr. Margit Göttert


For Gender-und Frauenforschungszentrum der Hessischen Hochschulen, Dr. Margit Göttert has accepted to answer the EPWS questionnaire.

Contact this association:

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EPWS: If you wanted to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?

The gFFZ is the Center of Excellence for gender research and gender mainstreaming of six Hessian Universities of Applied Sciences and it supports gender research activities (including publications, conferences, workshops, meetings etc.) in its member institutions.


EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?

The main objective is to support all activities of gender research in the member associations and to give new impetus and enrich the field of gender research.

Support of gender research includes:

  • consultations of professors, assistants and students regarding research requests, methodology, planning and developing gender research projects,
  • providing them with information regarding research requests, calls of papers, new publications or research results,
  • support regarding publications or strategies of publication,
    initiating workshops and teams on special topics of research
  • publishing research results (own book series, e-papers, reports)
  • transfer of gender knowledge into public sphere
  • supporting students and young academics in the field of gender research (for example Henriette-Fürth-Award for the best bachelor or master thesis of the year in Hesse in gender research).

To give new impulses includes:

  • own research projects, for example in the field of Gender and STEM, pregnancy/birth/motherhood/parenthood, Gender and Landscape planning (social space exploration).
  • organizing conferences and meetings with scientists and professionals to discuss current research results and for knowledge transfer.
  • bringing together researchers of different disciplines, universities or research centers and professionals; interdisciplinary discussion and research.
  • supporting the member universities in all matters of gender mainstreaming and gender equality efforts.


The Conference “Family politics in Europe” at the Frankfurt UAS 2013


EPWS: What is the history of NKC, in a few words?

The gFFZ was founded in 2001 by professors with strong interest in gender research of the Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Frankfurt, Fulda and Gießen. During the first years it was funded by the Hessian Minister of Science and Arts, then by the three universities. Several years after foundation the UAS in Darmstadt and RheinMain and the Evangelical UAS in Darmstadt joined the alliance, which now includes six UAS. Currently the gFFZ has a budget of 130.000 € per year.


Henriette-Fuerth-Award of the gFFZ at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences 2016


EPWS: Could you explain the organisation of your association?

We have a coordination office with two permanent employees, students and project staff, depending on prevailing research projects. Every member UAS sends one professor to the scientific advisory board, the managing director (Prof. Dr. Lotte Rose) is from the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, where the coordination office is located.


EPWS: What are its recent achievements?

In the current project “Gender: Subject-specific skill-enhancement training for engineering academics at Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities“ funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, trainings for multipliers (lecturers in the engineering sciences) will be designed to motivate and empower implementation of gender knowledge in their lectures and to reflect their own contribution to professional culture.

The long-term goal is to overcome androcentric professional cultures in order to attract more women to the engineering sciences and prevent drop-outs during their studies.

The preceeding project focused on the anchoring of gender research in the teaching of STEM subjects on a broader level at the Hessian universities and aimed to develop sustainable, practice-oriented instruments. One of the results is an online manual for various teaching subjects, e.g. Math, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, which can be used by lecturers. Another recently initiated project is called: “Everyone stays alone? Cemeteries as communication and everyday places. Gender-specific usage practices and potentials of stronger activation of cemeteries as social spaces”. This interdisciplinary research project focuses on the everyday use of cemeteries.

The different life expectancies of women and men and the assumption of nursing and care activities primarily by the former suggest that cemeteries are primarily places of (older) women and should be examined from a gender-sensitive perspective. Thus, the project locates among others in the tradition of gender planning.

The gFFZ is actively participating in the project “The Future of Labour – Making working environments for childbirth fit for the future”. Labor does not just mean work: to be in labour refers at the same time to birth. Birth has undergone a profound change in recent decades through mechanization, new knowledge and changing working conditions.

The future of work around childbirth is a highly relevant and current social challenge. With a unique, open dialogue and participation format in the form of “The Future of Labor” narrative cafés in various cities for scientists, practitioners and parents, the transformation of work around the birth can be experienced, space for living research and learning (Narrative-based Medicine, among other things) are shaped in an innovative way.


Workshop in the project “The Future of Labour – Making working environments for childbirth fit for the future.” 2018


EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?

We will have the annual Henriette-Fürth-Award, organize the first conference in the STEM-Project in November, organize a conference in the context of the cemetery-project, publish new books, for example on Women and Poverty and organize workshops for researchers regarding research requests.


EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?

Currently we only collaborate on a national level with several EPWS German members. In the future we would be very interested to get in contact with other European institutions especially concerning the teaching of Gender and STEM.


Working paper in the project “The Future of Labour – Making working environments for childbirth fit for the future.” 2018


EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?

We would wish EPWS to be a strong organization to influence European research policies in Brussels. This may be a dream, because we know how limited the resources of the EPWS actually are. But we need lobby politics throughout Europe and an interface organization of Gender research and equality politics.


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