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UNA's Center for Women’s Studies celebrates HerStory, brings attention to gender pay gap


The University of North Alabama’s Center for Women’s Studies is celebrating women all month long. Dr. Andrea Hunt is the executive director of the center. She explained participants will take part in Women’s History Month by creating a display of what’s being called “HerStory.”

“HerStory, in general, refers to history from a feminist viewpoint, or to the special attention to the experiences of women,” said Dr. Hunt. The HerStory project is a submission-based display in the UNA Collier Library where people can honor women who they feel have made significant contributions to society.

“When we look at the contributions of women throughout history, some of those contributions aren’t always included in our history books,” explained Dr. Hunt. “And so, we want to honor those contributions in the past, in the current and in the future, so that girls and young women know that they are capable of really making history and making important contributions to our community, to our society.”

The HerStory initiative was started in 2016 by Dr. Lynne Rieff and Emily Kelley. The two wanted to create an exhibit to highlight the importance of women in the community. “We are continuing that project by working with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to highlight the contributions of women over time,” said Dr. Hunt.

UNA's Center for Women’s Studies will also be highlighting Equal Pay Day to bring attention to the gender pay gap. “This is an opportunity to educate our faculty, staff and students on the pay disparities that continue to exist between men and women. We’re partnering with our career center on campus to also provide some information on resume development, interview skills,” said Dr. Hunt. “And then we’ll also be highlighting our new AAUW Salary Negotiation Workshop that is available for faculty, staff and students.”

Dr. Hunt said she hopes the Center for Women’s Studies can help those on campus though its HerStory displays and events. “One of our primary missions is to educate, and to inspire and engage our campus and larger community,” she explained. “So, we hope this is an opportunity to educate folks on people that we may not necessarily know about, and to highlight those important contributions. But to also empower and engage our students and community to think about the things that they may want to do to have a lasting impact on our campus and community.”

The executive director of UNA’s Center for Women’s Studies said promoting equality doesn’t end in March after Women’s History Month comes to a close. “We really advocate an intersectional-feminist perspective in thinking about how do we address diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice through our work. And this means empowering folks, giving people a voice, but also providing people with the tools to address equity, address inclusion; to have that sense of belonging on campus.”

Dr. Hunt said participants on UNA’s campus have more events to look forward to in the coming months. “We will be starting a Feminist Affinity Group in the fall that we’re really excited about. And this will be an opportunity to educate our campus community about what feminism means, but to also provide a sense of community for folks who are wanting to explore this a little more.”

Keep up with UNA’s Center for Women’s Studies on Instagram and Facebook.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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