The Institute of Women’s Studies (IWS) is an education and training institution primarily devoted to the empowerment of women. It is the positive response to the initiatives of St. Scholastica’s College to develop its women’s studies program. With the empowerment of women as its focal point, IWS endeavors to equip women with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and resources needed to enable them advocate for gender equity.
The St. Scholastica’s College adopted a social orientation for its education mission in the seventies, a period that saw the birth of the women’s movement in the Philippines. In 1985, celebrating its 10th year of promoting education for social transformation, the school initiated a Women’s Studies program. Women, active in the women’s movement, came together to work out the objectives and syllabus of an Introductory Course on Women’s Studies. The enthusiastic response, course generated led to its incorporation in the College’s General Education program for the tertiary level — the course was made a requirement for graduation. The following year, the College obtained a permit to offer a Cognate Course on Women’s Studies. It established the Institute of Women’s Studies as an affiliate unit of the college in 1988.
Philosophy, Vision, Mission
A just and free society where:
• Patriarchal values have been transcended and oppressive structures overcome:
• Women and men have equal rights and status;
• People participate and determine their own development;
• Everyone respects and protects the environment; and
• Opportunities for growth are accessible to all.
In this context, people’s aspiration for the full flowering of the human spirit and creativity can be actualized.
As an educational and training institution, IWS commits itself to promote alternative education that is gender fair, ecologically concerned, process-oriented, participant-centered and liberating.
IWS shall engage educational institutions and development organizations towards the empowerment of women and social transformation.