International Women's Day: Perspectives on Progress and Challenges

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
International Women’s Day: Perspectives on Progress and Challenges
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.Womens Day

Issue in Context
International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th of each year. The celebration was created by German Socialist Klara Zetkin in 1911. On International Women’s Day in 1917, Russian women were inspired to protest the rising costs and shortages of food, the world war, and their increased suffering. After 1917, March 8 became the official date for the celebration. When feminism surged in the 1960’s, interest in the holiday revived, and in 1975 the United Nations begun to sponsor International Women’s Day. In 1981, in Santa Rosa California a National Women’s History Week was spearheaded to bring international women together. In 1987 the week was expanded to an entire month, making March National Women’s History Month. Today, women from all over the world come together annually to celebrate peace, equality, and justice. This evening’s panel will discuss progress on women’s issues as well as persistent challenges regarding women’s rights.

About the Speakers
Rae Yang is a professor of Chinese language and literature in the East Asian Studies Department at Dickinson College. She was born in China and held several positions including that of farmer and teacher. She was a graduate student at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences before moving to the U.S. She received her master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, followed by her doctorate in 1991. She specializes in pre-modern and modern Chinese fiction and focuses on psychoanalytical criticism.

Agharese Ness works for the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts. Ness was born in Benin City, Nigeria, and she received her education from Lagos and at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. She has lived in the U.S. since 1979.

Michele Levy is a senior at Dickinson College who is majoring in women’s studies and Middle Eastern studies. Last year she studied in Israel.

Lamya Al-Sakkaf is a junior from Yemen studying political science at Dickinson.

Raju Kandel, a junior from Nepal, is majoring in women’s studies.

Mara Donaldson, who will be moderating the event, is a professor of religion at Dickinson College. Donaldson received her Ph.D. from Emory University and her research is focused on such fields as contemporary religious thought as religion and art, feminist and liberation theologies, as well as popular culture and contemporary fantasy literature.
Related Links
• History of International Women’s Day
• Get Involved in International Women’s Day
• What’s the Significance of International Women’s Day?
• International Women’s Day 2006