The origin of the idea

The idea initially grew out of an observation. Indeed, inthe implementation of the different activities relating to UNESCO's Philosophy Programme, women philosophers appeared to be under-represented at the major philosophy meetings. Concern about this was also expressed by many well-known women philosophers who, in conjunction with UNESCO, wished to remedy this situation . These women philosophers were behind the initative for the creation of this Network, and in virtue of that have generated a new dynamic promoting dialogue among philosophers and philosophies throughout the world.

This very limited presence of women philosophers is in no way a reflection of lack of interest on their part, but it it is revealing. Many women philosophers in all parts of the world are hard at work writing and thinking. The idea is therefore to offer them this forum for exopressing themselves, for making their voices heard tnd their work known.

This idea then matured. The International Network of Women Philosophers aims to provide support for women's philosophical activities , to foster solidarity among them, to provide them with means affording them legitimacy, recognition and visibility. This Network is to serve as a platform at all levels: national, regional and worldwide.

Finally, the idea emerged from its cocoon and met with an enthusiastic response. Following a Call for the creation of a database of women philosophers launched by Mr Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, very many enthusiastic responses were received from all regions of the world. The keen enthusiasm displayed shows that the idea of creating an International Network of Women Philosophers is a timely one and something that women philosophers had awaited.

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