On Fri., March 8, the world will observe International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating
the economic, social and political accomplishments of women throughout history. Throughout
next week, Blount County Global Women, Maryville College’s Peace and World Concerns
Committee and Sisters in Spirit will host various activities to honor this day and draw attention
to women’s issues in this area.
This year, the United Nations established the theme as “A Promise is a Promise: Time
for Action to End Violence Against Women.” International Women’s Day, the international
organization heading many of the events occurring globally on this day, declared this year’s
theme as “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.”
Events will begin on Tues., March 5, with the showing of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression
into for Women Worldwide,” a documentary that follows various female actresses and authors
as they depict the stories of individual women across ten countries. Originally premiering last
October, the authors donated a shorter 42-minute version for use at MC. A screening on campus
will be held at Lawson auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Before the viewing, at 6:30 p.m., locals will
provide fair trade items for sale.
On Fri., March 8, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Sisters in Spirit will team up with Haven House,
a local shelter for women who have experienced violence and abuse, to present the Clothesline
Project, a collection of life story t-shirts. The event will be held in Bartlett Hall. Participants
will be able to create their own t-shirt for support and encouragement. The shirts will be put on
display in the atrium of Bartlett.
From Monday until Wednesday, Sisters in Spirit will host their BeadforLife Party, in which
student are invited to shop through the handmade jewelry. The proceeds go to help BeadforLife,
an organization focused on helping women in Uganda develop economic independence.
“Sisters in Spirit normally does a V-Week which includes the Vagina Monologues, but this
year, we are doing something different,” Keli Shipley, president of Sisters in Spirit said. “We
will be hosting a BeadforLife party Monday through Wednesday. This organization is set up in
Boulder, CO, but is a non-profit that works towards raising money and awareness for women in
Uganda. This system of selling jewelry and other beauty products helps Uganda women learn to
Many students on campus are anticipating the annual week-long observance of International
Women’s Day on campus.
Aerial Carter, a sophomore student, said “I think it really interesting that Maryville is so
involved with this. I think that a lot of people are not very aware of this and I feel that this is
really important on campus to draw attention to women’s violence and abuse.”
“I think that we have gathered a great group of young women as well as faculty/ staff to join
together to make an even greater impact on the community. I think this upcoming week will
help,” Shipley said.
All events are free and everyone is encouraged to participate. Donations will be accepted and
will go to help local women’s organizations.