On March 9, 2020, the campus community held a reception in the Center for Global Innovation’s lobby in celebration of International Women’s Day.
CSUSB’s Center for International Studies and Programs and The Santos Manuel Student Union Women’s Resource Center co-hosted a celebration of International Women’s Day 2020 with a gallery exhibit on campus.
Dr. Tatiana Karmonova spoke in front of attendees at the start of the reception and touches on the gender wage gap as well as maternity leave.
“I hope this small event inspires you to take action and to advocate for equal rights of women,” stated Dean Karmonova.
Nautica Harden, a sophomore and international business major, explains her experience with mostly male peers and professors on campus.
“I don’t feel my voice is heard. Whenever I say something, I usually get the cold shoulder,” explains Harden in regard to her interactions in the business department.
She goes on to explain her sudden realization of having only one encounter with a fellow female peer and the rest being males, including professors.
Although women are the majority of students (61%) on campus, there is a lack of representation in certain departments and differences in the promotion.
According to Institutional Research, 200 out of the 429 faculty are women.
“Extracurriculars, specifically for women, are completely downplayed no matter what it is.” Harden brought up Kathryn Ervin, a Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and the lack of promotion for the play she is directing, “Rowing to America: The Immigrant Project,” despite her esteem.
“She is a critically acclaimed director, recognized statewide…[her] play did not get the promotion it deserved,” Harden comments.
Harden is pleased that the dean of the College of Extended and Global Education and Associate Vice Provost for International Education is a woman.
On an international scope, Yitihg Jin, explains in her home country, China, gender equality has a different look. Jin, a public administration major and student assistant, feels a lot of women work in nonprofit organizations due to them having more empathy and sympathy.
She says, “Women have equal social ranks and identity in China. I think there’s no gap and it’s dependent on positions, organizations, how many [people are] managed, and difficulty.”
The event featured the exhibit and women with diverse backgrounds speaking about what International Women’s Day means to them, their roles in it, and the significance of women in the STEM field.
The topic of women having to choose between family and career is also brought up during the reception.
The call to action for gender equality continues for all women which involve transgender women, who are not always included in these conversations.
International Women’s Day helps in spreading awareness and celebration of all women, not limited by the sex assigned at birth.
Jin gives advice on progressing the fight for gender equality by saying, “For a man who doesn’t respect women, it’s better to let him think how hardworking his mom is and how important is it to have support from his family and friends.”