- 24 July 2013
- by Talan Tyminski
Despite campaigns like the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, young women growing up in the 21st century still face stigma across the United States and world, simply based on their gender. Fighting stigma and empowering women is at the heart of The Society for Educating Women’s work. This weekend, SEW will be hosting a conference in St. Louis, Missouri featuring an airing of 10 x 10’s documentary “Girl Rising.”
SEW member Julie Davis explains, “This is not a conference where someone’s research is briefly summarized in a 10-15 minute, strictly timed presentation with little or no feedback from the audience (often because there is no one in the audience!) It’s also not going to be an aggressive academic completion, where feedback and critique are aimed at self-promoting. . We offer nurturing, and yes, critical feedback, engaging with each other’s work as peer mentors with no goal in mind than the advancement of each other’s work.”
This year’s conference will not only feature a roundtable on Kelly Ward and Lisa Wolf-Wendel’s book, Academic Motherhood: How Faculty Manage Work and Family, but a viewing of “Girl Rising.” “Girl Rising” follows nine girls growing up in nine different countries from nine different writers. The inspirational film highlights challenges facing young women all around the world. For interested girls who are unable to attend the conference, Davis has an important message: “Be interested and be aware. Ask questions. Think about gender both what it means and how it shapes meaning, including self-meaning. Read and listen to other women. Let their voices and stories speak to you, trouble you, inspire you. Do what we are doing at SEW, find community with other women and know that your search may be long and disheartening at times. If the community of support doesn't exist for you, make it. Start small.”
This amazing community of women is inviting each of you to join them and learn about women in an ever-changing world. All ideas are welcome as long as you’re willing to listen and discuss.