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UMD staff member Susana Pelayo-Woodward (center) and two student interns.

UMD Multicultural Center director Susana Pelayo-Woodward (center) celebrates International Women's Day 2005 with Annie Rags and Kris Simons, student interns at the Women's Resource and Action Center.

Women's History Month 2005

U staff members make International Women's Day their own

From Brief, March 9, 2005
Updated March 15, 2005

Women's History Month is March, and many events on University of Minnesota campuses are planned. See the list, below.

The origins of International Women's Day, now celebrated on March 8, date back to 1909. We asked several U employees how they observe the day.

Susana Pelayo-Woodward, director, Multicultural Center, Duluth

I am originally from Mexico and I started celebrating International Women's Day more than ten years ago....I send cards to all my friends--well, now I send them e-mail. I also go to dinner with friends. This year, I am wearing pink in solidarity....This is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of women worldwide and to continue the fight for global equality for women and girls. This is also a day to remember that women continue to fight for equal pay, safe workplaces, reproductive rights, to end violence against women, and for human rights. Here at UMD, we celebrate every year with music, food, and information about the status of women in the world. The local UMD Amnesty International, Women's Resource and Action Center, women's studies department, and other student organizations have tables with information and petitions.

Carol McCannon, program adviser, Office of Student Activities, Morris

Since my mother's birthday is March 7, I always try to honor both my mother and my mother's mother on March 8. Both women, especially my grandmother, were fierce career women before their time. They worked outside of the home and made great sacrifices, but both were great role models for me--allowing me to see the value of women and men working side by side to enhance our quality of life. I also honor my father, who cooked, did laundry, did the shopping, and "mothered" me. He loved the work he did in the home as much as he did his work outside the home. Was I lucky growing up, or what?

Kendra Weber, director of student services, Rochester

It was in college that I first became aware that there is an International Women's Day. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to celebrate this day with many women from many cultures, and I have some favorite memories. I particularly remember an event attended by many devout Muslim women. We held it in a room with all windows blocked, and no males over age 5 were allowed. The women typically covered their faces and hair in public [but] were comfortable enough to uncover them in a gathering of females....It was a fun, joyful event, and really made an impression of sisterhood on me.

A history of International Women's Day is posted on the United Nations Web site at

Events during Women's History Month

Campus events, U of M, Morris
"Women at Home and at the Front" (March 9)

Sponsored by Women's Studies, UMD
The Feminism in the Twin Ports series (March 9 and 16), women's night at the climbing wall (March 10), the film Breasts: A Documentary (March 17), "Women and Globalization" (March 30), and Nancy Gruver, author of How to Say It to Girls (March 31)

Sponsored by the Human Rights Program, U of M, Twin Cities
"A Celebration of Beijing + 10," the 10th annual International Women's Day Celebration (March 12)

Sponsored by the Office for University Women, Twin Cities
The film Girl Wrestler (March 10) and "third wave" feminists Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, authors of Grassroots: A Field Guide to Feminist Activism (March 31)

Sponsored by the U of M, Crookston
"Women Change America" events, including "Women Change the World" (March 22) and Minnijean Brown Trickey of the Little Rock Nine (March 30)--details to be announced

Sponsored by Graduate Women in Business, Carlson School of Management
2005 Women's Leadership Conference (March 25)

If you have University-sponsored or U-hosted events to add, please contact Gayla Marty.

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