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Underpaid and Undervalued: Celebrating Women

In honor of March, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion hosted a Zoom presentation and discussion on “Underpaid and Undervalued: How Inequality Defines Women’s Work.” Speakers included faculty of the IEDI, Tania Mendez, Heather Morijah, and Student Ambassadors Riley Coleman, Leo Butler, Rosario Romero.

An acknowledgment for queer and trans women was announced, but given the time constraint, wasn’t spoken on indepth.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to learn positive change,” said speaker Rosario Romero.

An essay contest and parade in 1974 in Santa Rosa, California, spread across the country. President Jimmy Carter elected the week of March 8 to be Women’s History Week. In 1986, the National Women’s History Project, which is a non-profit organization that targets multicultural awareness, expanded the week into a whole month.

A presentation included a short video from Hearts Magazine, “History of Women,” describing the stigma surrounding women and what women face today; how women must present themselves in a cognitive,calculated and mindful way.

A student slide-show featured a history of women in the United States workforce from the industrial revolution and WWII, such as the “Radium Girls” (AKA, “Ghost Girls,”) who painted radium on watch and dial faces for 5 cents a face. These women then suffered radium poisoning and social propaganda stigma.

Sweatshops in the USA are found in major metropolitan areas, like places with high population of undocumented workers. These are hidden in old warehouses spread across cities,” said Romero. Fast fashion is the biggest culprit.

One speaker shared her cousin’s story of being sex trafficked while living in a remote village in Mexico, pointing out that it could happen to anyone. 

At the end, questions and comments were discussed and addressed, such as how we as individuals can help combat women inequality; we can shop ethically, support women, lift eachother up, and vote for women. 

Most importantly, call out sexism

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