Currently, women' sand gen der studies programs exist in many countries around the world. It is a crucial task for the future of this still emerging disci- pline to enhance international communication and cooperation between study programs, students, scholars, activists, and professio... nals. If we consider the ideals and concepts of 'emancipation' and 'participation' as core principles of women' sand gen der studies, then our global networking requires system- atic inclusion of non-western perspectives at all levels of research, teaching, and curriculum development. The international conference 'Societies in Transition - Challenges to Women's and Gender Studies,' held at Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg, Germany, from June 28 through July 1,2001, was intended as a step in this direction, bringing together speakers - all represented in this book - from a variety of countries: Poland and Hungary, Great Britain and New Zealand, India and Nepal, South Africa, Jordan, Turkey and Yemen. Although this list might at first appear arbitrary, its composition was both carefully and intentionally constructed. As organizers, we knew that a com- paratively sm all conference could not entertain a fully inclusive representa- tion of women's and gender studies programs worldwide.
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