By Emily Feldmesser
Women’s Week, an annual Ohio Wesleyan institution, concluded Saturday evening after a week filled with events celebrating and advocating women’s issues.
Senior Megan Cook said Women’s Week and the companion activities are completely dedicated to many different issues that relate to women.
Cook said Women’s Week has been held every year since the 1960s and 1970s, when it was called Feminist Fortnight.
Sophomore Kyle Simon said Women’s Week programs are relevant to the world as well as the OWU community.
“It’s important to have Women’s Week because we still have people on this planet and students on our campus who are still unaware or opposed to treating women equally,” he said.
Cook said it is easy to forget women here and around the world still face a lot of inequalities.
Freshman Zoe Morris said being in a privileged environment causes people to forget about such problems, and this week helps to remind them of the struggles others face.
Junior Gus Wood said the programming reminds students and others that such struggles are still going on.
“It’s easy to assume women’s issues aren’t as important as they were in the origins in the women’s movement,” he said. “This week shows what we have done and still need to do.”
Women’s Week had events ranging from an appearance by slam poet Andrea Gibson to student performances and the popular “Take Back the Night” event.
“Take Back the Night” is an event that lets rape and sexual assault survivors speak about their experiences in a safe environment.
“Take Back the Night is an important event to have now so that people gain a better understanding of what events like Steubenville mean in a smaller, more relatable context,” senior Alex Crump said.
Cook said the event helps raise awareness of the local impact of sexual violence and empowers survivors.
“It’s impossible to deny that sexual assault and abuse is a very real problem, even on our campus, but there is also so much power in speaking out and knowing that none of us is alone,” she said.
Wood said recent events in Steubenville, Ohio; Delhi, India; and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are important to remind people of what progress society needs to make.
“We live in a world that, in many ways, was built for men, and empowering all genders to work for equality is essential,” Cook said.
“Women’s Week is a reminder of all the changes that are still needed, but also reminds us that we’re all in this together and that there is hope.”