URI Women’s Center to host talks, events about gender equity, March 23-27

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Goal is to celebrate all gender identities on campus

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 16, 2015 – Gender equity is a hot topic in the country today – and on college campuses. The University of Rhode Island is on top of the issue, with an upcoming weeklong program to raise awareness about gender fairness.

Hosted by URI’s Women’s Center, “Gender Empowerment Week” will be held from March 23 through 27 at difference places on the Kingston campus. All events are free and open to the public.

Lindsay Costa, who works as a graduate assistant at the center and is coordinating the program, says the goal is to disrupt traditional gender roles and ensure that people of all gender identities are included and “empowered” on campus.

“This is something I’m very passionate about,” says Costa ’16, of North Kingstown, who is getting her master’s degree in college student personnel. “The inclusion of all people is important in our world today.”

On Monday, March 23, Helen Mederer, a URI sociology professor and a labor researcher, will talk about how to strike a balance between working and spending time with family and friends. Her talk will start at noon in the Alumni Center Lounge, 73 Upper College Road. Lunch will be provided.

Graduate students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend, and undergraduate students are also welcome if they feel the topic applies to them, Lindsay says. You can register here for Mederer’s talk.

Later on Monday, students can take a kickboxing class at Manfredo’s Boxing Gym, 140 Point Judith Road, Narragansett. The class will start at 6 p.m., and students are asked to wear sneakers and comfortable exercise clothes.

On Tuesday, March 24, the LGBTQ Center will host an advanced safe-zone talk from 2 to 4 p.m. in the library at the Women’s Center, 22 Upper College Road. There will be a screening of the film “Miss Representation” later in the day at 8 p.m., also in the library.

The film is a 2011 documentary that explores how the media contribute to the under-representation of women in influential positions by focusing on youth, beauty and sexuality, rather than their strengths as leaders.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, students are encouraged to drop by the Women’s Center to make “empowering” T-shirts, and Students for the Advancement of Gender Equity, or S.A.G.E., will hand out brochures and answer questions at a booth in the Memorial Union from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 26.

Costa and others will host a gender trivia game at the Memorial Union on Friday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“This year’s Gender Empowerment Week includes a variety of programs of interest to URI students, faculty and staff and to community members,” says Carolyn Sovet, center director. “The programs will inspire, motivate and bring awareness to gender equity.”

Although women have come a long way, gender inequity still exists in the workplace and in homes throughout the world. In 2010, for instance, women made only 77 cents to every dollar a man earned, according to studies.

And studies show that women are still responsible for most of the childcare and caregiving duties. Men help out more with housework, but, again, women still do most of the chores.

Pictured above: Student peer educators at the Women’s Center.

Photo courtesy of the Women’s Center.