Women united: past, present and future

Women’s History Month has come to a close.

The month of March serves as a time of recognition for women throughout history who have contributed to society in many areas, such as women’s rights.

On Tuesday, March 31, the Gender and Sexuality Center held a Women’s History Month closing ceremony. In attendance was Jasmine Semna, president of Voices for Choices on campus.

“Women’s History Month [promotes] awareness of not only women throughout history, but also women’s rights right now,” Semna said. “That is done through multiple events throughout [March]everything from Vagina Monologues to Take Back the Night, which is one of our closing events.”

In addition to the closing ceremony, the Women and Gender Studies program held a luncheon Wednesday, April 1 to come together and celebrate with food and company.

Attendees included Erin Meyers, assistant professor of communication, and Valeria Palmer-Mehta, interim director of women and gender studies. 

“It’s important to recognize what came before, and it’s important to have a space to talk about sexual violence and to speak out in our own terms,” Meyers said.

She was not only referring to the luncheon, but also the month itself.

Women’s History Month allows people to look back and see what it took for some women to make progress toward a better future.

“It’s important to acknowledge how we got to where we are today, reflect on the past and consider the future,” Palmer-Mehta said.

Palmer-Mehta, like many others, sees the necessity of commemorating the past as well as looking forward to new accomplishments.

“We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go,” Semna said. “We need more women that want to step up and can make a difference.”

The final tribute to Women’s History Month is Take Back the Night, hosted by the Gender and Sexuality Center. The event is based on the concept that women are afraid to go out at night.

“It’s a march around campus led by student organizations,” Semna said. “It’s the idea that women should not be afraid to go out at night. It’s also bringing attention to rape and sexual assault.”

Overall, Women’s History Month serves many purposes, some of which include recognition of the women of the past, role models for improvement today and opportunities to share spaces and events to bring people together.

According to Semna, it encourages students to voice their own opinions and really see that they can make a difference and create change.