In the week leading up to March 8, International Women’s Day, campus is going to be filled with activities centered around the empowerment of women.
This day is dedicated to celebrating the progress that men and women have made all across the world in regard to bettering the conditions and social advancements that women have achieved.
Besides celebrating past achievements, the day also aims to create a rally call toward everyone to help continue advancements and fight for equality in areas that are still lacking.
Women’s Empowerment Alliance (WEA) on campus has been organizing a week of events and presentations for all students to take part in.
The goal is to provide a variety of activities that engage and inform people about the status of women in society, and many of the activities are brought about through partnerships. WEA has partnered with other student organizations to collaborate on activities.
“We’ve heard from the [Sociology-Criminology] Society … they’re interested in hosting a self-defense session on Wednesday [March 6],” Miranda Mueller, senior and co-leader of WEA, said.
They’ve also reached out to the Student Social Workers Association, who will be hosting a donation drive that week for Community Refugee and Immigration Services in Columbus. The original idea to host International Women’s Day on campus started only two years ago. Since that time, it has grown from a single day of activities to a week.
“I know from past experience that a lot of students have had difficulty with attending the events when it was just simply a day due to class conflicts and work conflicts,” Mueller said.
The week of March 4-8 is filled with a variety of activities.
Monday, March 4 features face painting in the Student Union from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This day will also serve as a chance to promote the rest of the week.
“The event actually ends up falling the week right after spring break, so we’re spending most of Monday doing promoting,” Marisa Woods, senior and co-leader of WEA, said.
Tuesday, March 5 will include a screening of 3 Generations (2015), a story about a teen’s transition from female to male and his family’s reaction, and an LGBTQ+ panel. Both will be in room 202 of Ruff Learning Center from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday will include presentations and a keynote speaker in Schneider North starting at 9 a.m.
That same day there will also be a reshowing of Capital in the Sixties, a student-created documentary about the university in the transitional period of the 1960s, although a location for the showing has not yet been decided. This is only the second time the movie has been shared with an audience.
The rest of the week will feature such activities as a women in STEM panel and a rundown of the history of International Women’s Day. Further information can be found on the International Women’s Week flyers.
Dr. Kathryn Bell, one of the original organizers of the events and a faculty advisor for the WEA, spoke on the amount of popularity and feedback that the events have received.
“We’ve had quite a strong turnout for both years that we’ve done it, and it’s included both the campus community as well as the central Ohio community. In general, the feedback is strong,” Bell said.
She also said that a decent amount of male students and community members have showed up to the past events.
Bell believes that International Women’s Day is not something that should be exclusively partaken by one gender. She hopes that both men and women are encouraged to join together in open, honest conversations about gender parody and violence against women.
“This isn’t just a women issue, this is a human issue,” Bell said. “Men need to be part of the conversation and part of the action.”
If you are interested in giving a presentation during International Women’s Week or just want to help volunteer, contact Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org.