International Women’s Day is officially recognized by the United Nations on March 8 —and students, faculty and staff at Rochester Institute of Technology are joining the celebration.
From noon to 2 p.m. Friday, March 7, RIT will host a tulip giveaway in the Student Alumni Union lobby honoring the contributions of women on campus and around the world.
The United Nations’ theme for this year’s international recognition— “Equality for women is progress for all”— emphasizes how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. It also stresses the vital role of women as agents of development.
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day in 1975 as a result of the growing international women’s movement, and has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in political and economic arenas. Today, International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political, economic, cultural and intellectual achievements of women while focusing attention on areas that still require further action.
“Much has been accomplished since the first International Women’s Day in terms of women’s equality, opportunities and recognition, but in the world and at RIT today, we know that a lot still needs to be done—from equal appreciation and recognition to equal salary, career opportunities, access to services, family support structures, and much more,” said Silvia Benso, professor of philosophy and event co-organizer. “In winter, colorful tulips come as a sign of strength, energy, vitality, tenacity, endurance, patience, variety and hope. These tulips celebrate all of these qualities which women have embodied in a high degree, and as a reminder of what women have done and still need to do, for themselves and for the interconnected world in which we all live.”
The event is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts’ Women’s and Gender Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts’ International Education Committee, College of Liberal Arts’ Dean’s Office and RIT’s Center for Women and Gender, with support from the NSF Advance Grant RIT Project; Women in Science; Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship; and the President’s Commission on Women.