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The Women's Center is located on the fourth floor of Baker University Center.

Women activists to discuss issues on gender inequality and public policy

Google Hangout hosted by the Women’s Center brings six activists from 3 different countries to answer questions about public policies and how they aren’t equal to the genders.


Only 19 percent of the seats occupied in the U.S. Congress are held by women, which is one of the reasons why the Women’s Center is hosting a Google Hangout with activists all over the world.

The panel titled, “Who's Missing from the Policy Table?: Improving NGO and State Solutions for Gender Inequality,” will be in Clippinger Lab 103 on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for all students to come and learn about how gender equality in leadership positions can be improved.

The six women who will serve as panelists are Arpita Das, Chitra Panjabi, Avina Ross, Marisela Montenegro and Nagore Garcia. These women are from Spain, Nepal and the United States, and have are advocates through social work and lecturing with getting women involved in society.

M. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center, said she chose the women because of their experience in working as activists for gender equality in different countries.

“Using a Google Hangout allows us to connect students with speakers and activists from around the world,” Murray said.

Policies such as welfare reform, reproductive access and sexual violence procedures are just the tip of the iceberg that is unfair lawmaking. There are many more policies and laws that do not treat women equally, because Murray said “women are not monolithic entities.”

“When it comes to deciding new policy it would help to get women with different backgrounds,” Ansam Al Harthy, a sophomore studying geography, said.

Murray said how she wants people to understand that women are different, even among themselves, and laws can negatively affect one woman more than another.

“We need to hear from the people who will be impacted, but not just hear, we need to listen,” she said.

Murray made the suggestion to get more people involved by having young women run for leadership positions in education, making them more inclined to run for leadership positions in government in the future.

“Men who are truly trying to better the system and make it equal for all women should be able to help make policies,” Montanna Brockmann-Lozier, a freshman studying biology and history, said.

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Murray also said the problem is not that men are the primary people making these policies, it’s that everyone has “scotomas” or a side to the story that they cannot see.

“We need to think broader and more inclusively,” Murray said. “We need to ask questions to those who are impacted.”



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