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At the Harvard College Women’s Center’s 14th annual Women’s Week, eight student-led events celebrated the turn of the decade with the theme “New Visions,” in honor of International Women’s Day.
The Women’s Center has historically hosted Women’s Week to facilitate conversations surrounding intersectionality and women’s and gender issues. The theme “New Visions” addresses the changing ways in which society discusses gender issues — while also looking forward to how women’s roles will manifest in the future, according to a post on the Women’s Center’s Facebook.
Student organizations spearheaded a variety of events throughout the week, ranging from panels to social dance lessons to self-care. Madison L. Fabber ’22 — who moderated a Women’s Week panel and helped organize the Harvard Ballroom Dance Team’s event — said she think Women’s Week is "really important.”
“It gets us this space and this dialogue for so many people to come together and explore gender and identity through all these interesting facets,” Fabber said.
The Albanian Leadership Initiative Series held a conversation Tuesday titled “From Montenegro to the Red Carpet: A Life of Giving” with model and philanthropist Emina Cunmulaj, who spoke about social activism and women’s empowerment. Later that evening in Emerson Hall, Latinas Unidas assembled a group of panelists — including Amira Al-Subaey, an organizer for the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition — and Harvard students to discuss women of color in politics.
At a panel and social dance lesson Friday called “Samba Rolls and Gender Roles,” officers and coaches from the Ballroom Dance Team discussed how they have been affected by gender norms in the ballroom and how those standards are changing. The Women’s Center wrapped up Women’s Week on Saturday with an event about “How Women Are Changing the Game,” to celebrate the achievements of pioneering women who have been overlooked in history.
Harvard Ballroom Dance Team Captain Olga Kiyan ’22 said she thinks that women are often “made to feel like they’re not enough” and consequently “start to doubt their abilities.”
“Starting those conversations and being like, ‘You’re not alone. You are enough, and what you’re doing is amazing,’ and having those types of discussions, I think, is important to help combat that,” Kiyan said.
Stephanie Javier, an Extension School student who attended the ballroom event, said Women’s Week helped her reflect on women’s identities.
“I think that it’s really wonderful that we as women are awakening to our natural feminine energy and recognizing and acknowledging how powerful it is: this very nurturing force, you know, this very nurturing energy,” Javier said. “And to be a part of that is quite an honor.”
—Staff writer Jessica Lee can be reached at email@example.com.
—Staff writer Christina T. Pham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Christina_TPham.
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