March is Women’s History Month: 31 days dedicated to the history of women and promoting awareness of the accomplishments and struggles of women in the past and present.
According to Sheena Malhotra, professor and chair of gender & women studies at CSUN, Women’s History Month is an idea that dates back to International Women’s Day, which originated in 1911.
Women’s International Day used to take place on March 8. According to Malhotra, the day is now considered one of the first gestures of feminism. At that time, women were attempting to gain their right to vote and that day was a way to draw attention to gender issues and inequality.
“When it came to International Women’s Day it was more for educational rights and women’s right to vote,” Malhotra said. “The idea of dedicating a month to women’s history really came from the late ’70s. But I think the idea really started with International Women’s Day.”
Malhotra said much progress has been made. Certain issues, such as educational inequalities and women’s suffrage, do not exist in our culture today. But Malhotra did explain that women today do still face issues of inequality.
“I think we have made progress in terms of education,” Malhotra said. “However, women still make less than men.”
In a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from December 2011, it was reported that women make 81 cents to a man’s dollar in the United States.
Other issues Malhotra and the Women’s Research and Resource Center believe still need to be addressed include objectification of women, domestic violence, rape and date rape.
Professor Shira Brown, director of WRRC, explained the center’s “Take Back the Night” event as their ninth annual rally and march that will have students confront violence against women by marching from Plaza del Sol and ending up at the WRRC.
Karen Medina, student director of the WRRC, further explained that “Take Back the Night” usually attracts 100 to 150 students.
When asked if Women’s History Month will fulfill its desire to bring greater awareness to women’s issues, Malhotra replied, “Yes. Students organizing is great; it does really help me out, it is really impressive.”
Campus organizations for women include:
• Women’s Research and Resource Center, 18356 Halsted Ave., Northridge
• Gender and Women’s Studies Student Association also at 18356 Halsted Ave.
• Project DATE, date/acquaintance rape prevention peer education program, Bayramian Hall 520
List of events for Women’s History that are sponsored/co-sponsored by the WRRC:
March 9: The WRRC is co-hosting Hip Hop and Feminism Event
Where: Whitsett Room (SH 451)
Time: 11a.m. – 2 p.m.
March 19: Dr. Lourdes Arguelles, Professor Emerita of Education at Claremont Graduate University will speak on “Other ways of living, learning and struggling in an era of economic and social catastrophe”
Where: Balboa Room
Time: 4 p.m.
March 20: You Can Do It! Her Story: The Keys are Passion, Determination and Persistence, a presentation by Jill S. Tietjen, president and CEO of Technically Speaking and co-author of the bestseller A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. Reservations can be made at 818-677-2638, or http://library.csun.edu/wise
Where: Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room, Oviatt Library
Time: 10 a.m.
March 22: Film Screening of Heavenly Creatures
Where: WRRC, 18356 Halsted Ave., Northridge
Time: 7 p.m.
March 29: Annual Take Back the Night rally and march to confront violence against women. Where: Starting at Plaza del Sol in the USU ending at the WRRC
Time: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.