Week focuses on women’s issues

Gabe Davis

The history and future of women, girls and females will be a theme on the ISU campus during the annual Women’s Week that begins today.

Nancy Bevin, director of the Women’s Center, said there are several reasons Iowa State has a week reserved for women.

“The purpose of Women’s Week is to help us focus our attention on the issues that are important to women,” she said. “It makes collaboration possible for different organizations on campus that share a concern for the well-being of women.”

Judy Dolphin, director of the YWCA of Ames-ISU, said Women’s Week at Iowa State has been during the second week of October for over 25 years. She said the overlap between Women’s Week and The National Coming Out Days, sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Alliance, is “purely coincidental.”

“[Women’s Week] was a part of the feminist wave during the 1970s as a way to raise issues relevant to women such as unemployment, equal opportunity and health concerns,” Dolphin said.

While the week is focused on discussing women’s issues, Dolphin said men may find some topics of interest too. She said Jackson Katz will be giving a presentation titled, “More Than a Few Good Men: A Lecture on American Manhood and Violence Against Women.” Katz is the founder of MVP Strategies, an organization dedicated to gender violence prevention training.

Dolphin said many of the issues that existed during the 1970s still exist today. “There are still forms of discrimination against women today. They have just become more subtle than they used to be,” she said.