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ASU gears up for Women’s History Month

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 19:02

Many departments are collaborating to create a well-rounded program for Women’s History Month.

The events will kick-off on Friday with a roundtable discussion of “The Feminine Mystique Revisited,” that is then followed with a short play and talk on the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I by Carole Levin, the Willa Cather professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, according to the press release. The events will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium.

“Women’s History Month is dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of women in the past who may have otherwise been ignored or sidelined in ‘traditional’ histories that focus more heavily on men,” said Kate Krueger, assistant professor of English and Philosophy. “Essentially, it is meant to create a more full and balanced picture of the ways in which women have played pivotal roles in our collective history. After all, women do make up half of humanity.”

For a number of years, the event was to celebrate Senator Hattie Caraway, the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in the early 1930’s, said Sarah Wilkerson-Freeman, associate professor of History.

“She was of Jonesboro and we were able to celebrate local U.S. women’s history,” Wilkerson-Freeman said. “This year we will instead focus on the now and how history has taken a different turn.”

Another event that is part of Women’s History Month that takes the history side is the topic of “Women’s History, Health and Reproductive Rights,” to be presented by Rickie Solinger, award winning historian and author. On Tuesday at 4 p.m., in the Student Union Auditorium, Solinger will give a “frank and civil examination” about how women dealt with health during an era when their decisions were decided for.

“She will talk about a time were they really came out about women’s pregnancy,” Wilkerson-Freeman said. “Women were treated differently, not only because of their gender, but also on their race and class.”

There will also be a panel with experts on women’s health during this modern period, said Wilkerson-Freeman. “It will be communicated to us how the affordable care act will work for women,” she said.

Along with history-related events, experts in domestic violence and health issues like Cathy Young, ASU director of nurse practitioner program, will discuss issues in health safety and how to prevent violent situations.

“The speakers are people who work in this field. They examine and testify about injuries related to domestic violence,” Wilkerson-Freeman said. “This event isn’t just for women, anyone can benefit as well.”

Wilkerson-Freeman stresses that the events are centered on value and integrity. “It’s a good line-up that are speaking from experience,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to introduce topics that are not brought out of the shadows and therefore encourage students to break out of the shadows too.”

Krueger thinks the events will benefit students.

“We hope that students become more educated about the way in which women have shaped our past and are more aware of the challenges that women face as potential leaders of the future,” Krueger said.

The events will also introduce leaders such as the First Lady of Arkansas, Ginger Beebe, who will speak at the luncheon address along with the second annual Women’s Leadership Conference later in March.

Wilkerson-Freeman sees the line-up of events as perfect opportunities for students to get involved in different kinds of campus events.

“When you go to a university, you are expected to be exposed to different situations and experiences that go beyond every day occurrences,” she said. “These events create an environment, experience, and concepts of knowledge that go beyond the comfort zone.”

With a co-ed campus, Wilkerson-Freeman believes the campus tends to keep students from being more honest about certain situations.

“What affects women essentially affects everyone,” she said.

“(Friday’s event), and Women’s History Month in general, highlight and celebrate the way in which women have impacted the world,” Krueger said.


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