Women’s History Month begins with focus on ‘ Paving the Path’

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Rachel Mirakova | The Ticker

Emanuela Gallo, News Editor

The “Women’s History Month Opening Ceremony” took place on Mar. 6 during club hours, kicking off a month-long celebration of women. It was the first of the many events held by the Women’s History Month committee throughout March.

“It’s a celebration of all women and recognizing the power and influence they have that is often overlooked in a male-dominated society,” said Naydeline Mejia, a journalism major who is a part of the committee.

The theme, “Paving the Path,” was chosen to highlight the event’s main goal.

“It’s about paving the path for other women … that’s what we want to encourage women to do by attending our events,” said Mejia.

Other committee members said the month is about supporting women, especially in cases of the #MeToo movement.

“It has to do with the events and issues that’s happened in the past year, including the #MeToo movement, and giving a different perspective on what defines a woman in this decade,” said finance major and committee member Sze Sce Chen.

Attendees participated in several activities, including a vision board where students wrote the names of women who inspire them. Names written included public figures, such as Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai, and those from personal relationships, including mothers and aunts.

Another board provided the opportunity for identity reflection. It featured several boxes labeled with certain aspects of one’s identity, including gender, race or ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, religion, citizenship status and socioeconomic status.

Attendees placed yellow stickers in the identity boxes they felt the most comfortable with and red stickers in those they felt the least safe. Students also enjoyed food, beverages, music and giveaways.

The Women’s History Month committee dedicated significant time and work on this project, meeting weekly to plan out the numerous events taking place in March.

An event titled “Have Women Truly Achieved Gender Equality: The Unheard Tea” will take place on Mar. 10, featuring conversations about controversial and uncommon subjects around gender.

“We want to make it a place for women to feel safe to talk about what’s difficult. There are certain questions and mixed messages from home, school, friends, and work. We want to talk about those topics that are sometimes pushed under,” said Professor Nancy Aries, who will lead the event.

“It’s open to everybody, so everyone has an open environment to speak about what they want,” said Pallak Kariwala, a co-chair on the committee.

Women in Business’s annual fundraiser for Girls Rising, an organization that works to educate girls, will take place on Mar. 12. Later that day, there will also be a discussion about workplace equality.

More events include an experiential workshop, the Women Empowered for Success “Fashion Show” and a power lunch.

Other events will foster professional development, including a salary negotiation workshop and networking event.

“We’re having an entire panel of professionals in partnership with the Office of Alumni relations. It will be an open networking space to talk about, for example, how hard it is to be a woman in finance and other industries,” said Sam Abrole, who is a co-chair on the planning committee.

At the end of March, the “Phenomenal Women’s Award Ceremony” will occur. Students may nominate women from the Baruch College community who have demonstrated excellence and dedication to paving new paths for women.

In addition, a hygiene drive is taking place throughout the month. The committee is partnering with two charities in the local New York City area.

“The first is Sanctuary for Families, which provides support for domestic abuse survivors, and the second is Smile on Me, a start-up organization that provides hygiene products and mentorship low-income girls in NYC,” Mejia said.

Organizers discussed what personally motivated them to be a direct part of WHM, in addition to what women’s history and empowerment meant to them.

“I was working all the time and not seeing my own face in the room … even in business classes, I was not seeing myself well represented to the point where it bothered me,” Abrole said.

“As soon as I heard about the committee, I knew I wanted to make an impact on this.”

Attendees shared a similar sentiment.

“It means to enhance women’s power and allow them to do what they want in life, let them have the jobs they want to do, and to have ambition for the future,” French exchange student Oriane Perchery said.

The “Women’s History Month Opening Ceremony” was successful in exciting students about the upcoming events that will promote its cause.

“We want every single woman to feel inspired, empowered and excited … not just for this month but for their entire lives,” Abrole said.