Women’s center prepares a host of events in celebration of women’s history month  

Women’s History Month is celebrated in March around the world in places like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The celebration was initiated in 1987 by a petition filed by the National Women’s History Project. Its aim was to honor the accomplishments and contributions made by women. 

“Women’s History Month has really been a global recognition of the ways that women experienced the world,” said Liz Steinborn-Gourley, director of the women’s center.  

Now, almost 50 years after the petition, great strides have been made in recognizing the unsung stories of courageous women who served as labor leaders, suffragists, abolitionists, trailblazing scientists, and bold public servants. Despite the awareness that has been made, more work awaits for the complete removal of the obstacles preventing women from reaching their full potential. 

“We’re in a state of war; there’s a war on women,” Steinborn-Gourley said. “There’s a war on earth. There’s an actual war happening. But we can use our imaginations to create and rise for a world that transcends that. Our big cornerstone celebration of women’s history month will be on Wednesday, March 13th. 1 billion rising is the idea, and the theme is imagine, create, and rise for a world of freedom.”    

Steinborn-Gourley’s work on empowering young women and advocating for women’s rights goes beyond her five years as director of the women’s center. She has recognized International Women’s Day and the 1 Billion Rising theme since about 2009. 

There are students who have already signed up to help with the one billion-rising event. Some would be tabling to promote menstrual equity in Gaza, by getting donations that would go towards providing women in Gaza with menstrual health products.   

An individual who would be helping with the event, shared a personal account of a woman who inspired them in observance of Women’s History Month. 

“Kimberly Crenshaw,” said Candace Omari, graduate assistant and first-year graduate student in the Gender and Women’s Studies program. “She was the first to coin the term intersectionality, which essentially means that we are women, but we also have different layers of ourselves. She shifted the way that we perceive feminism because previously, white feminism, or Western feminism, focused a lot on white women. They didn’t really consider that black women, for example, were not only experiencing sexism but also racism. I think she did a lot for us because she kind of opened the door to acknowledging that we can suffer in many different ways.”  

The women’s center has served as a gathering place and safe space for those who stop by for a quick chat, a long study session, or those who are lending a hand in preparing for the different events hosted by the center.   

“It’s a great social place. It’s very personable, and it’s for everyone,”  said Abigail Raper, a consistent visitor at the women’s center. “I identify in some way outside of the binary, but I am still accepted here, as are a lot of other people who may not totally identify as women. Everyone is welcome. There’s a lot of activity, and I get to have great conversations. I guess that’s one thing about women’s history month as well; it’s the conversations, especially conversations with intersectionality in mind.”

Students interested in getting involved during Women’s History Month are welcome to participate in the up-and-coming events. The women’s center also extends an invitation for all to consider CSU 218 an all-inclusive hangout spot and a place to find solace.  

“We want students to know that their stories matter and their experiences matter. There is so much self-internal gaslighting we do of ourselves, you know?” said Steinborn-Gourley. “We live in a patriarchy, and the Women’s Center is a space to hold room for people but also to connect with folks and validate their experience and existence. All students are welcome, not just  women.” 

One billion women will experience violence in their lifetime. Not because they think they are victims, but because someone who believes they have power and believes they’re not supposed to be powerful is violent, inflicting harm on them.  

“That’s why we do 1 Billion Rising, and it’s going to be a joyous, music-filled celebration with art and community collaboration projects and beaded bracelets. We want it to be a loving celebration of freedom and one free world.” 

The women’s center has lined up multiple events to celebrate. 

“Career Takeover” took place Monday. On Wednesday, the Women’s History Month cornerstone event will take place. On Thursday, there is a show titled “Men on Boats” that will take place at the performing arts center. Next Monday there is the “Indigenous Film Show,” hosted by American Indian Affairs. 

On March 20 there is the “guided mediation” program, which will take place at the campus recreation. On the 21st, the “women elected” event will take place at the Ostrander Auditorium, where St. Paul city councilmember Nesie Yang and other women in office will be in attendance. On the 27th, the “Crochet with Jasmine” event will take place, and there will be a guest alumnus at the women’s center to teach crocheting. Also celebrated would be “International Women’s Day” on the 8th, “Day of Muslim Women” on the 27th, and “Trans Day of Visibility” on the 31st.

Header photo: Women’s History Month is celebrated in March around the world. In the Centennial Student Union, the Women’s Center is hosting various events throughout the month. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)

Write to Ephrata Bezuayene at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.