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Annual event celebrates accomplishments of women

This weekend’s festival season kick-off will see a festival apart from the partying kind.

Sunday will mark the fifth annual International Women’s Day Festival at Ohio University, sponsored by the Women’s Center.

International Women’s Day began globally 100 years ago, and at Ohio University when the Women’s Center was founded in 2007.

While the center hosts different lectures and discussions throughout the year, International Women’s Day allows students and members of the community to be educated and entertained in a different way, said Susanne Dietzel, director of the Women’s Center.

“We think it’s a fun time for us to kind of take a day out of the year and celebrate, as we say, ‘the past, present and future accomplishments of women,’” Dietzel said. “We have a beautifully rich international community and we have a wonderfully diverse, domestic community and that is a way in which they can all come together.”

The festival’s theme this year is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.” The theme is chosen each year based on the women’s initiatives by the United Nations, Dietzel said.

“We always want to reflect a little bit on (their message), so this is a worldwide initiative,” she said. “We know that violence against women remains a persistent problem and it’s always good to kind of remind ourselves of that and agitate on all levels of civic, social and political engagement around it.”

The event is free and will feature crafters, venders and performances by different cultures.

“I want (the attendees) to think about the beauty that is in diversity and also the similarities that we all share,” Dietzel said.

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