The Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies (CGSPS), OAU was established in 1996 by the University as a Centre of Excellence for the interdisciplinary study of gender and development issues. The Centre’s mandate is to consolidate and expand academic interests in development studies, especially as it relates to women, children and vulnerable groups; and to develop relevant social and economic strategies to help the nation to overcome poverty and ensure sustainable human development. The Centre has a vision of providing a high standard of teaching, research and policy advocacy in gender and development, thereby contributing to enhanced quality of life for sustainable development; while the mission of the Centre is to be an International Centre of Excellence for advancing gender and development issues.
Initial efforts of the Women’s Studies Programme in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the 1980s attracted collaborative research in women/gender studies both within and outside the University. Importantly, this period witnessed academic linkages with the following Universities: University of Ibadan (Women Research and Documentation Centre – WORDOC); University of Dalhousie, and Saint Mount Vincent University (both in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). This initiative was supported with funds from the Canadian International Development Agency – (CIDA). Subsequently, the OAU Ife Women/Gender Studies Group played a leadership role in agenda-setting for the Women’s/Gender Studies Network for Nigeria. To date, the Centre has participated both locally and internationally in various aspects of research and training on women/gender issues.
The Centre for Gender has also enjoyed collaborations with individuals, businesses, corporations, governmental, intergovernmental and development agencies to foster gender-sensitive and inclusive development in Nigeria. Among them are: The Carnegie Corporation, the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Programme, UNICEF, UNESCO, CIDA, APIN, The Federal Ministry of Health, FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, DFID, The British Council, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund.
Ongoing Partnerships & collaborations are with the following institutions – The Julius-maximilian University (JMU) of Wurzburg, Germany; The University of Padova/Padua, Italy; The University of Florence, Italy. The collaborations are aimed at (i) providing platform for mutual exchanges for building the capacity of the academic staff of the centre, by training, retraining and exposure to contemporary gender issues in other climes (ii) ensuring training exchanges that could enhance the equipping of the administrative and the technical staff to provide the necessary support to enhance the teaching and research mandates of the Centre and; (iii) Leveraging on the existing pool of expertise to further strengthen the teaching and research skills of the students of the Centre via an exchange teaching/research programme online and onsite