Many students, faculty, staff, and members of the community celebrated Inter­national Women’s Day on Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) campus throughout the day on Mar. 8. Brooke Gilmore, direc­tor of the Deborah L. Coffin Women’s Center, began the celebration with a luncheon. President LeBlanc addressed the guest speaker, Professor Emeritus Eleanor Dunfey- Frieburger.

Dunfey-Frieburger began her speech by speaking about her childhood and how she was the only girl in a fam­ily of many boys. She spoke about her experiences with gender inequality as a way to encourage the audience members, seated at tables, to discuss their own stories. Af­ter her speech, the attendees ate lunch and spoke about their experiences with suc­cessful women at their tables.

After the luncheon, a ta­bling was set up in the Stu­dent’s Center. Some clubs participated in the tabling, including the International Student Association (ISA) with a table about important women from some of their home countries, Outreach with a donation table, Student Activists for Gender Equality (SAGE) with a pledging for parity banner and live music by Richard Oliver and Mela­nie Friese, and History Club with a trivia game about dif­ferent successful women in history.

The Diversity Initiative’s Office had a table with a pho­to campaign in which people could get their picture taken with a professional camera holding a sign with a woman (or two) that inspires them. Photos were posted on the Facebook page.

While the tabling was happening, there was a pre­sentation and community service event in the Hospi­tality Building. With the do­nations, attendees were able to make donation baskets to benefit the refugee groups in Manchester.

Rachael Straehle and Youssaira Akennad gave a presentation on their alter­native break trip to volun­teer and help in Kenya. They spoke about their experiences and the access that girls in Kenya have to education.

The final, and the most emotional part of the day was a panel of international stu­dents speaking about their limited and discouraged ac­cess to education in their home countries and their journeys to the United States. Three of the students were from Afghanistan and the fourth was from Saudi Ara­bia.

The panelists agreed that girls are discouraged to con­tinue their education, and they rarely obtain master’s degrees. When trying to get higher education, women are sometimes threatened and in­jured to force them to stop.

The students were joined by SNHU Board of Trustee and wife to the former am­bassador to Saudi Arabia, Ja­net Breslin-Smith, and Anne Barry, Executive Director of the World Affairs Council, who facilitated the panel.

After the panel, the au­dience saw the documen­tary “He Named Me Malala” about Malala Yousafzai, a girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Afghanistan for standing up for her right to receive an education.

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