Research Committees


The statutes of RC32 were adopted in 1995 and revised in 2010.

Article I.

RC32 (Women in Society) was established in 1973 with the name Sex Roles in Society, in accordance with what was then Article XI of the ISA Statutes. The Research Committee emerged from a Working Group with the same name established at the VII World Congress of Sociology in 1970 in response to a petition from women and men at that Congress. The title of RC32 was changed to Women in Society by a mail ballot among its members in 1980. RC32 is organized according to Article 4 of the 2002 Statutes of ISA.

RC32 raises its own funds primarily from membership dues. RC32 may also apply and receive funds from the ISA and appropriate sources. RC32 administers its own funds through the election of a Secretary/Treasurer who, in conjunction with the ISA, collects and banks dues and keeps up to date membership lists, and provides a financial report.

Article II. Objectives

The objectives of RC32 are:

  1. to promote the development of theory, methods, and practice concerning women in society and the intersecting nature of gender with other dimensions of diversity and inequality in society
  2. to encourage the critical evaluation of current sociological paradigms from the perspective of all subordinate groups, including women
  3. to promote perspectives and foster consciousness concerning women's rights throughout the world
  4. to improve research, organize meetings, and promote other means of communication, cooperation and collaboration among researchers at the national, regional, and international levels who share the perspectives enumerated in article IIa to IIc
  5. to forge links with research committees on women in other international social science associations in order to exchange information across interdisciplinary boundaries and to promote mutually beneficial joint ventures (e.g., planning inter-Congress and pre-Congress conferences, producing newsletters, etc.)
  6. to maintain continuing contact with UN agencies, and non - governmental organizations (NGOs) related to our activities, to maintain continuing links with other research groups within the ISA, and to take an active part in establishing international priorities through consultancy, advocacy, and networking activities; and
  7. to contribute to increased awareness of the objectives and activities of the ISA.

Article III. Activities

The following are the major means employed to achieve these objectives:

  1. on-going information exchange among members is achieved through the newsletter which is produced at regular intervals – at least two issues per year - and disseminated to members;
  2. the Council has a mandate to encourage collaborative international research and to promote RC32 objectives;
  3. board members and other members of RC32 initiate and participate in pre-Congress and inter-Congress workshops and conferences;
  4. members of RC32 contribute to international communication through their publications in ISA journals and other social science media, in addition to presenting papers at ISA and RC32 workshops, conferences, and Congresses;
  5. members of RC32 participate in international research projects in their individual capacities and may use the RC32 network to locate international collaborators;
  6. within the ISA, board members and other members of RC32 are encouraged to participate in planning the programs of future Congresses, with particular reference to planning Symposia and joint sessions with other Research Committees, Working groups, Thematic Groups etc. and National Associations;
  7. outside the ISA, board members and other members of RC32 are encouraged to forge ties with professional associations, women's organizations, international agencies and NGOs in order to achieve the above goals.

Article IV. Membership

  1. The Research Committee consists of individual members, who shall be either regular members or affiliated members.
    1. Regular members shall be individuals in good standing within the ISA – that is, those who are paid members of both RC32 and ISA
    2. Affiliated members shall be individuals interested in the activities of RC32, who are not members of the ISA. – that is, those who are paid members of RC32, but not of ISA. Affiliated members are not counted by ISA in their calculation of RC32 members for purposes of grants or session allocation.
  2. All regular and affiliated members of RC32 shall be entitled to vote and participate in activities of the Research Committee, except that affiliated members may not run for or be elected to the board of RC32. All members are informed of Committee activities and receive its newsletter free of charge.
  3. All regular and affiliated members of RC32 are expected
    1. to uphold the present Statutes of RC32 and to adhere to the stipulations of the present statutes;
    2. to conscientiously fulfill the tasks entrusted to them by the General Meeting or other bodies of RC32;
    3. to participate actively in recruiting new members, to disseminate news of Committee activities and of research by Committee members, and to participate in the intellectual work of the research committee;
    4. to pay dues for a four year period in a timely manner or, exceptionally, to seek an exemption from dues by application to the RC32 Secretary-Treasurer. RC32 strives to facilitate the participation of women from soft currency countries. Non-payment of dues will lead to loss of membership six months after the final period paid for, unless special arrangements are made.
      1. Dues are paid to the ISA Secretariat (regular members) or the RC32 Treasurer (affiliated members)
      2. The dues for the different types of membership shall be fixed by the Board of the Research Committee at each General Business Meeting and shall be specified in the By-Laws to the present Statutes.

Article V. RC Board

  1. As an optional possibility, candidates for Chair Elect may be nominated as part of a team of two candidates who will fill the office together. In such a case 'Chair Elect', 'Chair', and 'Past Chair', when used in the Statutes, is to be understood as 'Co-Chair Elect', 'Co-Chair', and 'Co-Past Chair' respectively.
  2. The governing body of RC32 is the RC Board which consists of:
    1. the officers:
      • Chair 
      • Past Chair 
      • Chair-Elect 
      • Secretary-Treasurer 
      • Newsletter Editor
    2. Other board members
      • Regional Representatives (one to four from each region) to reflect as far as possible the various regions of the world.
  3. Each member of the Board must at all times be:
    1. a member in good standing of the ISA in accordance with the ISA statutes AND
    2. a member in good standing of RC32.
  4. The Board aims to achieve regional representation of RC32 membership
  5. Any member of the Board who does not carry out the basic functions of board membership, or offer appropriate reasons for a temporary inability to do so, shall, after a period of 6 months' notice (given by the Chair (after consultation with the other officers – or in the case of the Chair's inactivity, consultation by the Secretary/Treasurer with the other officers), be deemed to have resigned unless circumstances make this inappropriate.
  6. Temporary vacancies in the Board between consecutive ISA World Congresses may be filled by appointment by the Chair, in accordance with ISA Statute 4.5, with the reasons for choice being explained at the following General Business Meeting of the Research Committee
  7. The places of any Board member not in good standing with either the ISA or RC32 may be declared temporarily vacant by the Chair (after a period of 3 months' notice), at the Chair's discretion, and the vacancy filled according to paragraph V.f .
  8. One of the Board members, identified by the Board, will assume the responsibilities of the Chair of the Board in the case of death, incapacitation, resignation or other inability of the incumbent to carry out the responsibilities of the office of the Chair. In the case of the Chair's membership in ISA and/or RC32 lapsing, the Secretary/Treasurer is required to inform the Board and to serve a three-month period of grace notice on the Chair after which the above mentioned replacement measures will be put into effect.

Article VI. Electoral Procedures

  1. The Board of RC32 is elected every four years, just prior to the ISA World Congress, for a four-year term between each World Congress of Sociology, with their term to commence at the following World Congress.
  2. The election shall be carried out under the direction of the Nominations and Elections Committee, which is chaired by the Past Chair, and also includes two other members, appointed by the Board, who are not current members of the Board and will not be standing for election (and, as members of this committee are in fact not eligible for nomination to the Board). The committee is responsible for preparing the list of nominations for RC32 officers and other Board members and for conducting the elections.
  3. To ensure participation by all regular and affiliated members, the election process (including nominations) shall be done by mail, normally by e-mail. To this end, the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall prepare a nominations form, to be sent to all regular and affiliated members at least 20 weeks before the election day.
  4. All regular and affiliated members of RC32 shall be entitled to nominate candidates for the Board. Nominated candidates must be regular members of RC32. Potential candidates shall confirm their willingness to accept the respective position on the Board, should they be elected, and to remain a regular member in good standing for the duration of the mandate, and shall return the nomination form (which includes the above declaration) to the Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, along with a brief curriculum vitae. If necessary (normally only to fill regional representative positions) a supplementary election may be held after the World Congress.
    1. A member may be a candidate for more than one office but may only serve in one office at a time
    2. After two consecutive full terms on the RC32 Board, no member is eligible for a further consecutive term, except as Chair Elect. No member may be reelected immediately to the board after completing a term as Past Chair: an interval of four years must elapse before any subsequent nomination to the board.
  5. The Nominations and Elections Committee will endeavor to have at least two nominations (of individuals or, in the case of the Chair Elect, alternatively, of teams of two) for each position. The nominations should reflect the international nature of the membership.
  6. The Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall prepare a ballot listing all nominated candidates (and their normal country of residence) for each position on the Board. In case of more than one nomination for the same position, the nominated candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order. The ballot shall be sent to all regular and affiliated members of RC32 by (e-) mail at least ten weeks before the election day, Election day will be no later than two weeks before the beginning of the World Congress.
  7. Regular and affiliated members shall send their ballot by mail or e-mail to the designated electoral officer(s) or e-mail account. Ballots received after election day shall not be counted. Board members are elected on the basis of a simple majority of ballots received by the deadline specified on the ballot. In the case of a tie between candidates, the issue is resolved in a manner that is mindful of regional representation, and for candidates from the same region, by drawing lots. In the case of regional representatives, a maximum of two may be elected from a single nation state. In the case of more than two candidates from a nation state, only the two with the greatest number of votes may be elected.
  8. A meeting of members from both the old and new RC32 Boards is held during the World Congress of Sociology to help evaluate past activities, to establish planning committees and to begin to plan activities for the next four years. This meeting is open to all RC32 members. Officially the new members of the incoming Board begin their mandate at the business meeting after the Nominations and Elections Committee report. The Committee is encouraged to also post/circulate the results before the business meeting.

Article VII. Responsibilities and Duties of Officers

  1. Chair:
    1. Assumes overall responsibility for the functioning of RC32 and assumes major responsibility for the RC32 World Congress Program. When there are Co-Chairs, the two will work in collaboration.
    2. In consultation with the Board, identify the theme for at least one mid-term conference and takes responsibility for the organization or co-organization of these inter-Congress meetings.
    3. In collaboration with the Secretary/Treasurer prepare the application for the RC's activity grant from ISA, the report on its use, and the activity reports requested by the ISA.
  2. Past Chair:
    1. Gives advice and support to the Chair and completes projects initiated as Chair, in cooperation with and under the direction of the Chair.
    2. Chairs the Nominations and Elections Committee and has primary responsibility for obtaining nominations and running the election (These responsibilities are described in detail in Article VI.)
  3. Chair Elect:
    1. Works in cooperation with the Chair to organize the RC32 World Congress.
    2. Works in cooperation with other officers to carry out RC32 activities.
  4. Secretary/Treasurer:
    1. Prepares minutes of the business meeting for publication in the RC32 newsletter with a request for suggested amendments. Corrections are either incorporated or forwarded as amendments to the next business meeting where the minutes are adopted.
    2. The Secretary/Treasurers also receives dues from affiliated members and maintains financial records and funds, as well as an up-to-date membership list. The incumbent requests regular updates of membership information from the ISA Secretariat and the transfer from the ISA of the dues collected from regular members, at appropriate intervals. The incumbent must live in a country without currency controls and restrictions and currency must be convertible. The person keeps an institutional memory of RC32 history and procedures.
    3. A statement of financial affairs will be given by the Secretary/Treasurer to the Board annually and to the Business Meeting held every four years during the ISA World Congress. The Treasurer must be discharged of her financial responsibilities by this Business Meeting.
    4. In collaboration with the Chairs prepares the application for the RC's activity grant from ISA, the report of use of the grant, and the activity reports requested by the ISA.
  5. Newsletter Editor:
    1. Collects, organizes and distributes news of interest to RC32 members. Newsletter issues should be scheduled in such a way as to maximize participation of members in research committee projects. The incumbent needs to have institutional support such as secretarial and e-mailing services.
  6. Representative to the Research Council
    1. Designated by the Board, this person will normally be the Chair or one of the co-chairs, with the other co-chair (if there is one), the/a past chair or the/a incoming Chair as an alternate.
    2. Represents RC32 in the ISA Research Council. This Council meets in the biennium between world congresses, and during the World Congress. The representative is generally in charge of writing a research paper for presentation during the scholarly activity held in conjunction with the mid-term meeting of the Research Council. Within the guidelines issued by the ISA Vice President Research for this paper, it should be representative of the contributions presented by RC32 participants in world meetings.
    3. If the Research Council Representative and the alternate are unable to attend one of these meetings, the Chair should be informed as soon as possible so that a replacement alternate may be named to represent RC32 on that occasion.
  7. Regional Representatives: Will take an active part within their region to:
    1. bring new members to RC32;
    2. disseminate information on RC32 and its activities;
    3. co-organize RC32 conferences or workshops in their region, if requested by the Board to do so;
    4. locate researchers who could organize sessions and/or otherwise participate in the ISA World Congress and other ISA related conferences;
    5. identify new issues and creative lines of inquiry for further research on women and society.

Article VIII. General Business Meeting

  1. A general meeting of members shall be held at least once every four years preferably at the ISA World Congress. The meeting is chaired by the Chair or the Past Chair of RC32.
  2. Announcement of the General Business Meeting shall be made to the members at least three months in advance, together with a tentative agenda of business.
  3. Votes can only be cast by regular and affiliated RC32 members in good standing who are present at the meeting.
  4. The duties of the General Business Meeting:
    1. to evaluate and approve the four-year-report; 
    2. to discharge the outgoing Board of its responsibilities, including the financial statement; 
    3. to discuss and carry motions on any other point that may arise.
  5. Decisions at the General Business Meeting are taken by simple majority.
  6. A written petition of twenty members to the Chair within six months after the general meeting can institute a mail ballot to the membership of any issue presented at the general meeting.
  7. The Board, by majority, can also institute a mail (e-mail) ballot the membership at any time.

Article IX. Final Regulations

  1. The statutes of RC32 were adopted in 1995 and revised in 2010.
  2. Amendments to statutes must be proposed to the Chair in writing at least 75 days prior to scheduled RC 32 business meetings (every four years at World Congresses). Amendments are discussed at the business meetings and voted by simple majority of members present or voting in case of mail or e-mail ballot.
  3. The Archives at the University of Colorado is the repository of the ISA RC 32 Women in Society Historical Collection, where both papers presented and RC 32 records are kept. It is the responsibility of both members and the RC Council to ensure that deposits are made.


Affiliation fees:
The RC32 affiliation fees are fixed as follows:

  • xxx$US (or Euros) for four years for members from ‘Category A’ countries, as defined by the ISA (except for student /unwaged members)
  • yyy$US (or Euros) for four years for members from all other countries.

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