Feb 12, 2014
By Jill Wallenhorst
Ohio University’s Women’s Center is preparing for its sixth annual International Women’s Day Festival and is calling for participation from the OHIO and surrounding community.
Whether it’s through dance, poetry, artwork, presentations or simply tabling for an organization, the International Women’s Day Festival caters to people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. This year’s festival is scheduled for 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 16, in the Baker University Center Ballroom.
“The International Women’s Day Festival provides an opportunity to highlight things that may not otherwise be highlighted,” said Susanne Dietzel, director of the Women’s Center. “We only have one day of the year that is specifically set aside to celebrate women.”
International Women’s Day was first observed in 1911. A global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future, International Women’s Day honors those who fought for women’s right to vote, commemorates women’s success and serves a reminder of inequities that still need to be addressed. The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Equality for Women Means Progress for All.”
International Women’s Day is March 8, but due to the University’s spring break, OHIO’s International Women’s Day Festival is scheduled for March 16.
According to Dietzel, the festival provides opportunities for the campus community to highlight women’s and girls’ achievements worldwide, to reflect on women’s status today and to project into women’s future as local, national and global subjects and citizens – all while showcasing Athens’ diverse community.
OHIO’s International Women’s Day Festival has grown significantly over the past six years. Dietzel noted that last year’s event attracted more than 500 attendees of various ages and genders, as well as nearly 80 participants.
Dietzel emphasized that the event is by no means limited to OHIO students. Community members, as well as OHIO faculty and staff looking to perform their arts, showcase their research or raise awareness for a local organization are all welcome to participate.
“What makes this event special is that we are incredibly blessed to have such a rich international community here,” said Dietzel. “The interaction that ensues between participants and people who are just coming to visit makes it a wonderful event for Ohio University.”
Those interested in participating in this year’s festival either as a performer, vendor or volunteer must submit a proposal by filling out an online form at http://www.ohio.edu/womenscenter/programs/iwd.cfm. The website also lists all the opportunities to participate in the festival.
The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21. Proposals may be delivered in person to the Women’s Center at Baker University Center 403 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.