Throughout history, women have been excluded from creating and validating knowledge, as well as the social habits that make up historical experience. In the period we live in, women not only have to look toward but also be agents of knowledge. It is therefore essential that women's knowledge is formalised.
Since the creation of the Institute of Women, it has been a driving force encouraging and financing studies on women, feminists and gender. Over time, the amassed body of knowledge, brought about by this type of studies, is comprehensive and significant, so much so that we can say that this organisation has contributed to the consolidation of this area of knowledge and, therefore, to providing an explanation of the state and evolution of society from a gender perspective, opening new paths for the general public, for people with responsible jobs and within the scientific community, including the new generations that wish to be taught in this area of knowledge or with these same parameters.
The financing of research and studies of this kind by the Institute of Women has traditionally been channeled along two different paths: Firstly, through public research grants, which, between 1996-2007, were offered within the framework of the National R&D&I Plan; and secondly, through the Study Plans approved every year by the ministerial department to which the Institute is attached. Since the creation of the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men Observatory, through Royal Decree 1686/2000, a number of studies have also been carried out through this observatory.
The projects financed vary considerably in terms of their approach, methodology and content. Some were of a conceptual nature, some more theoretical whilst others had an empirical or applicable focus. The methodologies employed were quantitative, qualitative and mixed. And the subject matters were similarly diverse: history, legal affairs, demography, family, social protection, education, culture, employment and labour relations, health, participation (political, social and economic), equality indicators, use of time, social diversity and inclusion, citizenship, violence against women, etc.