by Hannah Langley ’21
Although Providence College has only had women in attendance since 1971, women have made major strides in academics, athletics, leadership roles, and more over the past 50 years. To help celebrate and recognize women farther, PC Democrats and other clubs and organizations at the College have planned a week’s worth of events beginning Feb. 29 and ending March 6.
International Women’s Week began last year, as stated by Hannah Bone ’20, co-president of PC Democrats. Bone has been the leader working on organizing the series of events this year.
“The goal of the week is to showcase and celebrate the diversity of womanhood and how being a woman can be represented in so many different ways on our campus,” said Bone. “The events also give people a chance to learn about different identities and perspectives,” she continued, “hopefully helping us to grow in respect and understanding for each other.”
While PC Democrats are the ones sponsoring and organizing the week’s events, Bone explained that the club allowed other student groups to create their own events with the only rule being that the event had to be centered around promoting women. In regards to the events, Bone commented on how she is excited for each of them, saying, “There’s a little something in there for everyone, and all of the topics explore vastly different aspects of what identifying as a woman can mean.”
This year’s lineup of events ranges from guest speakers to dances to food runs, all of which are centered around promoting women empowerment and equality. Some of the clubs and organizations running these events include Student Congress, Women Will, SHEPARD, Asian American Association, Campus Ministry, and Women in STEM.
On Monday, March 2, the women’s and gender studies department hosted an event entitled “Women, Gender, and the Politics of Representation: An Interactive Discussion,” in which Dr. Abigail Brooks spoke about promoting equality and justice for women in the U.S. Other events include the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” dance, “The Stigma Behind Queer Asian Women,” “Women & Porn: The Harmful Affects of Pornography,” “Women in STEM Speakers,” a cookie run, and PC Women Appreciation Day.
There will also be a weeklong event called “Our Wonder Women,” in which students got to nominate female student leaders they felt should be recognized.
“Many people submitted quotes about these women that highlight why they are wonder women,” commented Kelsey Christianson ’20, one of the students running this event. Pictures of these female leaders will be hung around Slavin throughout the week to recognize their hard work.
Throughout the week, there will be an ongoing fundraiser to raise money for the nurses at Providence Public School, who have been trying to provide free feminine hygiene products for girls attending the school. Donation boxes will be set out during each of the events throughout the week to allow students to donate, and the money raised from the cookie run held Wednesday, March 4 will go towards this cause, as well.
Bone stated that she hopes the week will shine a light on women and gender equality for the PC community. “I hope that the PC community will feel a sense of pride in its women and recognize the beautiful and wide-ranging differences between us all. All of these events are celebratory, unifying, and supportive.”
She also hopes people will take what they have learned from this week with them beyond just PC’s campus. Besides the fact that they are fundraising for the community throughout the week, Bone emphasized, “The majority of the event topics cover ideas so much bigger than PC, and the lessons taken away from these events can be turned outwards to help better understand and celebrate being a woman in today’s society both in the United States and around the world.”
Although International Women’s Week only lasts for a short period of time, Bone hopes the PC community will learn something about the issues women face in today’s society and carry these lessons with them into the future.