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Women's Herstory Month

March 01, 2021

Starting today and throughout March, we highlight Women's History Month. Additionally, we feature the scholarly work of one of our esteemed faculty members, Dr. Ather Zia. Organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978, Women's History Month was created to reshape American patriarchal history that largely neglected women's achievements. As we recognize Women's History Month, try to learn more about pioneering women, explore unfamiliar women like Hypatia and the profound influence she had, and seek out data that reveals today's gender inequality. Self-work (educating oneself), questioning conventional paradigms, and self-change disrupt the social norms that define women as inferior; therefore, discrimination, disregard, control, oppression, exploitation, and violence of women must be eliminated.

As we celebrate this year's national theme, "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced," we renew the celebration of Women's suffrage. Colorado was one of the first states to grant full women's suffrage in 1893. The movement for national suffrage continued, leading to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 that declared all women, like men, deserve the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Today, our campus is fortunate to have Dr. Ather Zia, who serves as a beacon for feminism worldwide. Dr. Zia teaches multiple courses on campus in the areas of Anthropology, Gender Studies, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Additionally, Dr. Zia is an award-winning author and manages student-centered webzines such as PUGS. This week, we were graced with a few remarks by Dr. Zia:

On the importance of Women's History Month

Dr. Zia: "The importance of Women's History month is the sheer beauty of making women's voices central. Women's voices have been made secondary in society, and this month reminds us to not just focus on them but to foreground them. In a modern world, getting the right to vote is akin to getting one's voice heard in whatever measure; being part of creating a political structure is crucial and attaining that through voting, and actual participation as political activists is an important milestone."

On how the UNC community can contribute to Women's History month

Dr. Zia: "Training our students well so that they become agents of social and political change who raise their voices for just causes including gender equality and equity is our priority. Faculty research that understands the nature of gender, not just regionally but internationally and cross-culturally, and talking about it and amplifying the message is how we can do it. Also to contribute to national and local debates and action research."

Take Action:

  1. The Center for Women's and Gender Equity (CWGE) has a lineup of Women's History Month events. For a complete list, click here!
  2. Read Dr. Zia's book - "Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women's Activism in Kashmir
  3. Attend a Public Reading by Poet Kelly Norman Ellis to honor International Women's Day
  4. Register to learn more about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement
  5. Attend the free webinar: Brave Conversations 2021: Her Grace; Our Gift: Celebrating The Black Woman
  6. Explore The Museum for Black Girls
  7. Engage with the CWGE blogs and articles at Inside UNC

For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please find other sources located under DDEI Education and Resources on the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion site and UNC Libraries under DEI & Antiracism Resources.