Women and Gender Studies celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and a panel of students spoke on the program’s importance in a March event that coincided with Women’s History Month.
The academic program officially launched in 1978, when issues of gender divide and female empowerment were beginning to be discussed on college campuses.
Students and program director Denise James shared how the program has affected their education and vision of feminism.
“Studying WGS gives me the language to talk about systems of oppression and inequality and gives me the tools to combat these systems. It’s helped me be a better agent of change,” Elisabeth Spector, a double major in sociology and women and gender studies, told the audience.
While James is proud of what she has achieved as the program director thus far, she hopes to expand interest and participation in later years. She communicates that there are ways to apply the major outside of college, both personally and professionally.
“Students can have experiences in gender studies and also be fit for public service arrangements and other professional opportunities. We are changing the major to meet those demands,” James said.
The University offers both a major and minor in women’s and gender studies. The program focuses on the experiences and perspectives of women and considers how gender intersects with other factors, such as race and class, to shape our lives. Nearly 60 University of Dayton faculty members teach courses for women’s and gender studies credit.
To learn more about the major, visit https://bit.ly/2hTP1YA