By Amethyst Martinez
WOMXN’S History Month has arrived with the spring season, giving time for the Rider community to reflect on trailblazing women, as well as recognize the work that still needs to be done for gender equality. The university is hosting a plethora of opportunities for students to learn throughout the month of March, as well as join organizations that actively support women throughout the year.
One organization that works to uplift women on campus is the Gail Bierenbaum Women’s Leadership Council (GBWLC), a program that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Erin Barnard, the program coordinator for the GBWLC, said the organization’s core is developing women leadership skills through workshops, professional development, social and wellness events and mentoring.
“We have a really strong network of professional women who serve as mentors to our students … they have someone to ask those questions to and to get that extra help and confidence,” said Barnard. “I think it’s really important for us to look at how far we’ve come, but also recognize how much more there is to do.”
Events are also being held campuswide throughout March, with organizations like the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, University Libraries, Greek life, Rider athletics and the gender and sexualities studies program hosting a variety of opportunities for the Rider community to learn about the importance of Womxn’s History Month.
“Rider has a great history of including women and being at the forefront of empowering women,” said Bernard. “I think that’s just continuing the mission by having these events on campus by highlighting what women do and what women can do, and just celebrating it.”
The University Libraries are hosting two film screenings for documentaries “This Changes Everything” and “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America,” with a panel following the former and the latter taking place online, to celebrate women throughout history and emphasize the work that still needs to be done.
Melissa Hofmann, professor librarian and gender and sexuality studies liaison, noted that these events are not only important for those who are passionate about women’s rights, but also others who seek to learn about the topic of gender inequality.
“Women’s History Month also allows us to reflect on the category of “woman” and related concepts like femininity, [and] what these have meant in different eras and in different cultures, and how they are constantly evolving and playing into the more expansive views on gender and informing the rejection of the gender binary,” said Hofmann.
Other events throughout the month include four days of food hosted by Daly Dining Hall to celebrate the holiday by highlighting Rider’s female chefs and cooks, featuring dishes from their very own homes with recipes by the women and family that they come from.
Bernard said, “Women’s History Month is a really good time for us to look at really important figures in history who may have been overlooked or may not have gotten the recognition they deserve, and to really bring those women to the forefront.”