International Women’s Day
Madeline S. Scharf – Reporter
People around the world celebrate women’s achievements and rally for gender equality on March 8, International Women’s Day. The entire month of March is dedicated to women’s history and fight for rights and respect.
However, some students do not see the value of this day. Special Education major Gina Barron, a freshman, said “I think it is a nice thought, but it is not really useful. Its intentions are to bring light to women’s history, but it does not actually do anything.”
These feelings towards International Women’s Day however, seem to be an American-centric mindset. Head of Women’s and Gender studies Yi-Chun Tricia Lin finds other countries to be far more interested in this day. “International Women’s Day is not often paid attention to in the U.S. In Taiwan, though, it is an international holiday! Women teachers even have the day off.”
Despite the advancements of women’s rights, there continues to be gender inequality throughout the world. “Our world is still suffering from gender based injustice,” said Lin.
The university has a long history with women, both as students and in faculty. “Southern was once just a teacher’s college,” Lin said. “This was predominantly a field for women.” Through the education of women, since Southern conception in 1890, there was a welcome change to give women a higher education.
Within the past twenty years, Southern has also made strides towards inclusion of women in positions of power. Two of the last four university presidents were female, and staff members diversified from mainly men in the 20th century to an equal measure of gendered staff.
“President Joe and his commitment to social justice has made our work mainstream. Their work within the Women’s and Genders study offers a way to look at the world more critically, seeing injustices within the social structure and working from those problems,” Lin said. “I think the study helps students get a more critical analysis of the world. It helps us make our world more accessible to others.”
“I think Southern could do more about women’s history,” said comprehensive special education major Juliana Zaccagnino, a freshman, in an e-mail interview. “I haven’t seen much else regarding International Women’s Day, or even history.”