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This guide is designed to provide annotated links to materials in our Library Collection and also on the general web. Yet there are hundreds of websites out there that relate to Women's and Gender Studies. The below websites are gateways to many other internet resources. Some are updated more often than others (so don't be surprised if you find a dead link). And some of the websites linked from the below pages are more reliable than others. It is up to you to judge the usefulness and reliability of the information you find. For some tips of what to look for, take a look at the box in the lower right.
This website, developed and maintained by the Women and Gender Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, does a good job of organizing and presenting links to gender studies websites, both general and subject-specific.
Maintained by Joan Korenman, "Women's Studies / Women's Issues Resource Sites is a selective, annotated, highly acclaimed listing of web sites containing resources and information about women's studies / women's issues, with an emphasis on sites of particular use to an academic women's studies program. If you're looking for sites on a specific women-focused topic, you may prefer to use the following subject sections rather than scroll through the all-inclusive alphabetical listing."
Intute, was a Europe-based web portal that attempted to provide a trusted source of selected, high quality Internet information for students, academics, researchers and practitioners in the social sciences, business and law. They also posted this useful Women's Studies page. Unfortunately, because of a severe reduction in funding, "no new resources are being added to the catalogue" and broken links were only fixed through July 2011. However, a recent spot-check showed that the website is still quite useful. So it is worth a browse or search, but don't be surprised if you find a bad link.
Karla Tonella, of the University of Iowa maintains this portal. The opening page includes links to "Mainstream News concerning women," and the subject areas include topics like Women in Development and Feminist Theory.
"Womenwatch is the central gateway to information and resources on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the United Nations system, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Secretariat, regional commissions, funds, programmes, specialized agencies, and academic and research institutions. The portal contains a directory of resources on selected topics including the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action, statistics and indicators, gender mainstreaming and online clearinghouses on themes currently on the United Nations global agenda, such as climate change."
The Feminism and Women's Studies site, one of 44 websites hosted by the EServer, was first designed in 1993 by members of the Carnegie Mellon University Women's Center. One of the earliest women's studies web sites on the Internet, our site has since the outset been very well known: today it is number 2 in Google searches for "feminism" and number 4 in Google searches for "women's studies", and is currently one of the most popular women's studies web sites in the world, currently publishing documents to approximately 25,000 readers per month." Sub-sections include Activism, Gender and Sexuality, Health, History, Theory and Workplace. There are also pages for Links and Women's Studies Programs.
VoS is a massive metasite project based at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This particular webpage provides a wide-ranging group of academic-approved links in women's and gender studies. Note the "On this Page" outline in the upper right and use this to jump to a more specific area. Or simply scroll down the page to browse. Unfortunately, VoS lists are so extensive that there is precious little room for evaluative or descriptive annotation. So, be prepared to do a lot of browsing and clicking when using this website. Or, use the search engine in the upper right corner of the screen.
"The University of Maryland women's studies web site, begun in September 1992, serves those people interested in the women's studies profession and in general women's issues." Links and materials are divided into categories and include unusual content like Film Reviews and a Reading Room of texts and support materials. Unfortunately, UM appears to be dismantling their women's studies webpages one by one. This one is still here, but may not last.
From the About page: "Gender Inn is a database collecting academic publications within the field of gender studies in the humanities, but also including related areas, such as history, psychology, sociology, political and educational science and others. Because of the vast number of publications, we limit inclusion in the database mainly to monographs.
Gender Inn was founded by Prof. Natascha Würzbach in 1987, and went online in 1997. Since 1998, Prof. Beate Neumeier has been its editor."
Wikigender is a project initiated by the OECD Development Centre to facilitate the exchange and improve the knowledge on gender equality-related issues around the world. A particular focus lies on gathering empirical evidence and identifying adequate statistics to measure gender equality. In this respect, Wikigender serves as a pilot project for the OECD Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies. Based on the work of the OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base, Wikigender aims to highlight the importance of social institutions such as norms, traditions and cultural practices that impact on women's empowerment. And international, open-access portal that provides a mix of materials and links. Worth a look!
"The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics) is an online workspace designed to serve the needs of elected officials, candidates, political party leaders and members, researchers, students and other practitioners interested in advancing women in politics. It is a joint project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (UN Women), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). " International news, "Library" resources, "Election Talk," and active dialogues. Join to be able to contribute to discussions, etc.
The Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC), at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin, maintains this page of links to women-oriented sites throughout South and Central America, the Caribbean, and from minority organizations in North America.
"MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free." This page leads to others related to women's health topics. There are usually many subpages here and most are at other websites. Still, the NLM tries to vet each website for reliability.
A list of links, divided into categories, that was compiled on behalf of the members of the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL). The list was "designed to be a resource for information on women’s issues."
This annotated pathfinder list links to a variety of resources, which ALIC describes as "listing of historical websites relevant to women in the United States." Guide sections include Bibliographies, African-American Women, Biographies, Politics and Women, Women’s Suffrage and Women in the Military.
Not at all oriented towards academic research on women, this is a general web directory that includes links to resources on all aspects of women's lives. Subject areas include anything from "Mothers/Parenting" to "Women Go Shopping." Although it can be a junky hodge-podge, it can also be useful if you are looking for website leads on a women's topic of a less clearly scholarly nature.
"FeMiNa was created in September of 1995 and debuted online to provide women with a comprehensive, searchable directory of links to female friendly sites and information on the World Wide Web." It claims to be "a comprehensive database and powerful, intuitive search engine created by Cybergrrl. Inc." At the very least it does provide a great variety of links to web materials. However, be prepared for flashing advertisements when you visit Femina. Not frequently checked or updated, so expect dead links.
It is important to think critically about the information you find on the general internet. (Just as it is important to critically evaluate even those articles you find in our library databases and in books owned by this or other libraries.) When you find what might be a useful resource on the general web, consider:
Who wrote the content? Can you tell? (Unfortunately, most general web materials indicate no authorship, which is an immediate warning flag.)
Does the author have clear expertise on the topic being written about?
Did the material originate somewhere else? (If so, ask the above questions about the original source.)
Can you contact someone at this website about the content?
Can you verify any "facts" in a separate, independent source?
Is the originator/author trying to sell you something or promote a specific agenda?
Is the material dated? Is the website regularly updated?
There are so many questions to ask....and you should ask them before using any external resource--especially un-authored material from the general internet!
For more on this, see these pages from our tutorials.