International Women’s Day celebrated at Ames Public Library


Hochul Kim/Iowa State Daily

The Ames Public Library hosted an International Women’s Day event in the Farwell T. Brown Auditorium on March 8.

Lindsay Greifzu

Women of all nationalities and backgrounds gathered at Ames Public Library on Sunday to celebrate International Women’s Day and discuss some of the issues that women face around the world.

International Women’s Day is a day designated to celebrate women’s social, economic, and political achievements while calling for greater equality. An official holiday in 27 countries, International Women’s Day celebrations traditionally include men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends or colleagues with small gifts.

About 45 women and several men gathered in the Farewell T. Brown Auditorium for small group discussions where topics included careers, women in management, fair trade and treatment of women in other countries and more. Moderators encouraged participants to share some of their experiences and opinions regarding the roles and treatment of women in society today.

Multiple countries were represented at this event, including Ghana, Nigeria, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Morocco, South Korea, Bulgaria, Slovakia and more.

International Women’s Day in Ames has been celebrated for 10 consecutive years. Traditionally, this event was held with panels where speakers would come in and share their personal experiences to motivate others to take action. This year, the coordinators wanted to try something different that would get participants more involved.

“We wanted to give people a chance to talk about their own lives,” coordinator Kimberly Hope said.

Throughout the discussions, emphasis was put on teaching the younger generation about equality so that they can grow up with female empowerment all around them and make it the new norm.

One speaker talked about creating a generational ripple effect, encouraging people to fight against current culture and change society for the better. Discussions like these pave the way for others to talk about these issues.

“Men having conversations like these as much as women will be a good thing for society,” said Katherine Clottey, a moderator from Ghana.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was “Make It Happen,” and participants were encouraged to answer the question of “How can I #MakeItHappen?” After their small group discussions, @Ames_IWD tweeted responses after the event as a way to help educate others and have them start thinking about ways they can make a difference.

The #MakeItHappen hashtag has been used all over social media to help create awareness for IWD and create conversations about equality.

“It’s a way to get people to think about the kinds of changes they would like to see and how to make it happen in a tangible way,” Clottey said.