The story of KVINFO

From collection of literature to solutions for current gender and equality issues. Here you can read the story of KVINFO.

KVINFO’s roots go back to 1964, when an employee at the Royal Library, author, engineer and later honorary doctor at Roskilde University Nynne Koch, began to register women-relevant literature seperately. It became the cornerstone of the unique research overview that KVINFO’s library provided space for in many years.

Today, KVINFO is no longer a women-focused library, but Denmark’s knowledge center for gender and equality.

KVINFO becomes self-owned and moves beyond Denmark’s borders

In 1987, KVINFO is established as a self-governing institution under the Ministry of Culture and with its own board, and out of the library grows a large number of activities with the dissemination of knowledge about gender and equality as a focal point.

Elisabeth Møller Jensen is KVINFO’s director from 1990 until 2014. During this period, KVINFO is put on the map, when it comes to bringing gender equality into the public conversation.

At the same time, KVINFO begins to collaborate with partners internationally and builds a mentor network that supports women with ethnic minority backgrounds in entering the Danish labor market.

The mentor network was established in 2002 and has over the years spread to several parts of Denmark. Today, there are cooperation agreements in Aarhus, Korsør, Copenhagen, Odense, Slagelse and Svendborg, just as the method itself is used in a large number of other countries.

Gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa

From 2006, KVINFO handles parts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ The Arab Initiative, which is a precursor to what is today called the Danish-Arab Partnership Program (DAPP). Today, KVINFO’s international work takes place mainly in the Middle East and North Africa with programs in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

The international work takes place in close collaboration with local, regional and Danish organisations and is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the EU and the Danish-Arab Partnership Program. You can read more about KVINFO’s international work at this link.

From library to knowledge center

For a number of years, KVINFO’s library has been a meeting point for gender literature, knowledge sharing and networks for organisations, gender researchers and not least primary and secondary school students through the school service or in connection with assignment writing. This part of KVINFO’s work changes significantly in 2018.

KVINFO’s library is merged with the Royal Library on 1 January 2018. Henriette Laursen is now director, and a new strategy is being produced in order to place gender at the center of discussions, policies and solutions within gender equality nationally and internationally.

Creating solutions to ensure equality

In the spring of 2021, KVINFO’s board adopts a new strategy, which further emphasises that the institution is different than when the gender library was a central part.

The new strategy makes it clear that KVINFO not only disseminates knowledge about gender and gender equality, but also convert knowledge into change by developing tools and solutions to specific challenges related to gender.

You can read KVINFO’s strategy for 2021-24 at this link.