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Women’s history month brings events to campus

March 10, 2011

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Womens and Gender Committee at UW-River Falls will be hosting events this month around the theme.

“The reason why we do women’s history month is because we have a sense that basically, if you open up a history book, what you’re going to see is that most of it is going to be about prominent men.  So women’s history month is kind of an effort to take back history and to notice that there are a lot of women who
contribute to big historical events,”said Women’s and Gender Studies professor Michelle Parkinson.”

“That those things are not often talked about in course work, they are not often talked about in history books,” said Parkinson.

“I hope that people will participate and realize that there is a lot of stuff that women have done and contributed enormously to our successes as a nation, to families and to all of these levels that are not even acknowledged, added Parkinson.

The first event that was held Thursday, February 24, was “De-veiling the Hijabs and Arab-Muslim Feminisms,” presented by speaker Manal Hamzeh, Ph.D.

“The events so far have gone great, when Dr. Hamzeh came we had an almost full auditorium and the talk went really well and the discussion was really fun and it was potentially controversial,” said Parkinson.

“But the way she handled it, it was really smart, because she was talking about the veils in Muslim culture and religion,” said Parkinson.

“And she was basically saying that there are different ways to read the Quran and that the forcing of making women to wear the veils is essentially a misreading, or one of many possible readings, of the Quran. So it was a really interesting talk,” Parkinson said.

This year, Nikki Shonoiki has been working from her role as the one of the Co-Diversity Programmers on Falcon Programs to work with multiple groups and coordinate publicity for Women’s History Month.

“The events so far have been wonderful, although, because we had so many events during the first week of March, right before Spring Break I think attendance began to dwindle due to participant fatigue,” said Shonoki.

Among the events planned for Women’s History month was a trivia game show that contained music videos, multiple choice trivia and survey questions.

“I helped manage the event ThinkFast – Trivia Game Show and although there were less than 40 people in attendance the event was amazing and so much fun,” said Shonoiki.

The Sociocultural Coordinator Ashley Olson advises programming that occurs via Falcon Programs from her position in the Office of Student Life.

“As I arrived to campus last year, I met Michelle Parkinson and we decided that it would be beneficial for our offices to work together collectively publicize our efforts collectively around Women’s History Month,” said Olson.

“All of the events have been wonderful and addressed so many different issues.  I am excited for the upcoming events, and looking forward to planning events and activities for next year,” added Olson.