Equality and equal opportunities are central values of the European Union. Treaties and agreements concluded in recent years underline these efforts to overcome disadvantages. Gender as an attribute that is externally, socially shaped, has become an important factor in the striving for equality.
Social differences in the life worlds of women and men, such as in the areas of work, family, leisure, health, education etc., still exist today. The implementation of gender equality as a cross-cutting issue beyond mandatory legal requirements represents an opportunity for success in this regard. The mission is to anchor gender equality in the public sphere – in the defining culture. To integrate gender equality into the daily behaviour and way of thinking – into the mainstream – at FH JOANNEUM is in keeping with our responsibility to reduce and counter existing inequalities, realities of discrimination as well as inequities experienced by women as well as by men. At the same time, the focus is on supporting measures that break down gender-specific prejudices and stereotypes. This results in a responsibility to ensure gender-appropriate access to the degree courses and their contents for a broad, international, diverse community consisting of students and staff members.
Gender studies engage in scientific discourse on both genders and their relationship to each other. Gender science does not form a self-contained biotope; rather it is to be seen as a starting point from which a question can be answered by different disciplines with the gender perspective in mind. Gender-related analyses and representations can be examined in medicine, psychology, history, philosophy, cultural and social anthropology as well as in economics and political science, and also in technical, scientific and social fields of study. A classic example from modern times is gender budgeting, a field that analyses budgets from a gender perspective. The central insight here is the recognition that there is gender inequality in the allocation of public resources. This understanding forms the basis for the formulation of socio-political demands for equality and the development of further questions.
The same applies to medicine and gender: Which illnesses are often assigned primarily to one sex, such as heart attacks to men, and what does this mean for women and men in everyday practice and diagnosis? Or, as a final example, the study of history: Who and where are the great women of past centuries in a historiography that is written by/about men?
Classic gender studies form an interdisciplinary field which sees the role of gender, sex, behaviour etc. as the main research issue. The focused gender-based view on any topic leads to new insights and exciting results, which make inequalities (hierarchies) visible and in many cases expose them as such in the first place.