At the inception, the centre was located within the Department of Sociology, and has benefited from efforts by earlier Heads of Department of Sociology, Professors- D.N. Dhangare, U. B. Bhoite, A. Ramanamma, A.U. Bhoite, S. M. Dahiwale and Sujata Patel who helped integrate gender into the teaching programmes.
The centre became autonomous in 1997 and ever since the programmes of the Centre have been guided by Professor Vidyut Bhagwat who joined the Centre in 1990 and was the Director from 1998 - 2008. It was under her leadership that the Inter-disciplinary Certificate Course in Women’s Studies was launched in 1996, a first of its kind in the country. She guided the centre’s endeavor to publish quality learning-teaching material in Women’s Studies in both English and Marathi. Professor Vidyut Bhagwat continues to be actively involved with all the activities of the centre, especially the research and material production programmes of the Centre. She also guides students for Ph. D in Women’s Studies.
Dr. Sharmila Rege was with the Centre since 1991 and she further strengthened research and teaching in the areas of Gender and Dalit Studies and Gender and Cultural Studies. She was Director of the centre from 2008-2013 and it was under her leadership that the centre was awarded a substantial grant by the Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust for Developing Teaching and Research Capacities in Women’s Studies. The MA and Diploma in Gender, Culture and Development Studies were launched by the centre during this period, that aim to go beyond the narrow binaries of western v/s indigenous, thus seeking to internationalize the curriculum to make it ‘locally’ relevant. Her effort was to reimagine Higher Education on the site of Women’s Studies by seeking to bring ‘difference’ t the centre of curriculum, teaching and pedagogical practices. Dr. Anagha Tambe and Dr. Swati Dyahadroy have been working with the Centre in different teaching and research capacities since 1998 and joined as faculty members in 2007-8. They have further strengthened the research and teaching programmes of the Centre in the areas of Sexuality and Communalism studies. After the tragic demise of Dr. Sharmila Rege, the centre is being led by Dr. Anagha Tambe. The Centre has this year launched the M Phil programme in Women’s Studies.