Announcing the launch of Atria, Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History

On 28 January 2013, the new name of the Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History in Amsterdam was revealed. It is Atria. This institute results from the merger of Aletta, Institute for Women’s History and E-Quality, Information Centre for Gender, Family and Diversity Issues. Both institutions have a long history of advocating for gender equality and women’s history.

Atria is the institute on gender equality and women’s history and provides a deep understanding of women – in all their diversity – and their history: women from all levels of society, from diverse ethnic backgrounds and with diverse sexual orientations, women working outside the home and those not, women with and without children. Atria identifies opportunities and challenges for equal rights and the empowerment of women. She brings these issues to light through her library and archive, as well as by publishing research, expert opinions and whitepapers and providing trainings for government, business and educational institutions.

Atria believes in bringing people and ideas together in order to bring us closer to a future in which men and women not only have equal opportunities, but also enjoy truly equal rights. Atria’s Director Renée Römkens explains, “From our new institute for gender equality and women’s history, we want to fundamentally question notions about men and women that are currently taken for granted in society – and do this in new and imaginative ways. Imagine a world in which the differences between women and men no longer matter. Imagine a world where the differences between genders are obvious but no longer result in social constructs that constrain both women and men and sustain patterns that ultimately lead to inequality. Imagine a world in which masculinity and femininity exist on a continuum of gender possibilities.”

What the name ‘Atria’ symbolizes
The name Atria was chosen because it symbolizes what we as an institute stand for: think out of the box about women, feminine and masculine, gender – in a way that brings together diverse fields of expertise. Atria is the plural form of the word atrium, and as such, signifies space. That speaks to our intentions: we want to create space. The institute wants to create a safe space – both literally and figuratively – for information about women and men, feminism, women’s rights and women’s history. The concepts of space and connection have been subtly incorporated into our new logo.

Atria is also a star, the brightest star in the Southern Triangle. It is a binary star of variable magnitude, which means that it is, by definition, always in motion. These characteristics of the star Atria symbolize both the inequality and the variability of the relationship between men and women in society.

Facts & figures about Atria

Research and Consultancy:
Several research projects per year on a wide range of topics.
Solicited and unsolicited advice to policy makers and politicians.
Factsheets containing facts and figures on a variety of subjects.
Organize and participate in expert meetings.

105,000 books, periodicals, brochures, reports and dissertations; 65 meters of additional documents;
30,000 articles; 12,000 flyers and prints; biographical clippings related to 9,000 women.

1,300 meters of archive (700 archives); 250 ego documents; 30,000 photographs;
1,430 objects; 1,000 recordings; 84 oral history interviews.

Public services:
650,000 online visitors per year via various websites;
Atria organizes at least 7 seminars, large and small, each year.

Tilly Vriend, Senior International Project Manager,

Atria, Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History, Vijzelstraat 20, 1017 HK Amsterdam (The Netherlands) +31 (0)203031519