International Women's Day 2007

    The “Women in Global Perspective” class* (WMST 2020) planned and executed a multifaceted project to commemorate International Women’s Day, 2007.   IWD falls on March 8 each year, and since we are on Spring Break at that time, I chose March 1 for our own celebration and included it in the course as an assignment.   The students took on the project wholeheartedly and came up with a far more exciting series of events than I could possibly have imagined when I wrote it into the course syllabus.   Here is a list of the class’s activities for IWD:

  • Violence against women was one of the major themes chosen by the class, and the students produced 1) a clever glass-case display in the Culp Center, which will stay in place for the month of March; 2) a display board at our booth in the Atrium, and 3) a handout downloaded from a UN anti-violence site.
  • A second major theme was women’s accomplishments, and this theme was reflected by a display board at the booth and a very professional-looking student-produced handout.
  • One student undertook to collect signatures in support of the international treaty CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women), which the U.S. has never ratified.   With the help of several others, she collected about 100 signatures and sent them to Sen. Bob Corker, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  • The project that generated the most excitement was the sale of jewelry made by the BeadforLife collective of HIV-positive Ugandan women.   Total proceeds were over $1500, which went directly to the collective.
  • All of the students except those who were sick spent at least part of the day staffing our table and booth.
  • We sponsored an evening showing of the documentary The Shape of Water, about women’s grassroots activism in several countries.   Though the audience was quite small, about half of it was students who are not in the class.   Two students took responsibility for introducing the film and leading discussion afterwards.
  • Several students were effective at getting publicity for the event in the East Tennessean and on WETS, as well as making flyers and table tents and promoting the event by social networking websites and word of mouth.

I am beyond delighted with what these 20 students accomplished—both with their creativity in generating ideas and with their success at collaboration in executing those ideas.   I hope that International Women’s Day will become an annual event.

Pat Buck
Instructor, Women in Global Perspective



Photos courtesy of Stephanie Langley-Earhart

* Class members:   Holly Blair, Nicole Brunson, Phaedra Call, Jennifer Callahan, Kelly Church, Crystal Diaz, James Gibbs, Casey Gibson, Jeff Hearl, Shelley Hill, Elizabeth Ivers, Ann Marie Kazubinski, Stephanie Langley-Earhart, Veronica Limeberry, Amelia Mitchell, Sarah Olivo, Alunda Rutherford, Anita Shell, Katie Sims, Cydney Vanosdale