Not only do women play a crucial role in the outcomes of elections, representing roughly half of the nation’s population, they are also tremendously affected by the policies that elected officials impose. This week, women at Ohio University will have the opportunity to discuss their role in the upcoming elections.
The Women’s Center will be hosting a discussion called “Global Conversations: Women and Elections” at 6:00 p.m. Thursday in Baker 240. The event is co-sponsored by the OU Political Science department, the Political Science Majors Association and Pi Sigma Alpha.
According to the Women’s Center’s Facebook page, the event will serve to “consider how elections can have immediate impact on people’s lives” and “analyze candidates and the policies that they promote for their connections to gender issues.”
This year’s event will feature several panelists who have extensive backgrounds working in politics or other sociological fields. Atima Omara, a writer and speaker who was formerly president of the Young Democrats of America, will speak at the event. She is also a member of the Democratic National Committee and chair of the Planned Parenthood Metro Washington Action Fund Board of Directors. In addition, panelists include Kylie Oversen, a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives; Kate McLean, a senior lecturer of social geography at Birkbeck, University of London; and Tina Husted, an OU alumna and entrepreneur who served as a delegate at this year’s Republican National Convention.
Dr. M. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center, is organizing the topics that the panelists and audience will discuss at the event.
“Some of the things that we know are going to be discussed are looking at the connection in regards to why people should care about Brexit, and how that translates in terms of our own understandings of the U.S. political system and the importance in regards to people voting,”
Alainna Marincic, a senior studying integrated media, has expressed interest in attending the event.
“I know a lot about the election on the national level — the presidential one — but I don’t know a lot about the Athens elections and stuff, so I want to know a little more about the Ohio state level,” Marincic said. “I think any kind of marginalized person voting is super important.”
Murray said because much of the political conversation has focused on the candidates themselves, the panel will attempt to address their policies.
“We’ve spent a whole lot of time, I think, looking at the two nominees as individuals, and not a lot of time looking at some of the policy implications,” Murray said. “And so that’s where we’re really going to be focusing our time, although the audience can certainly ask other questions.”
Murray said sexual assault may also be discussed.
“Are people familiar with the political party platform stances on sexual assault on college campuses?” Murray said. “If we’re thinking about not the individuals but the policies, what do the different policies represent in those issues that are really important to people here at Ohio University?”