Happenings: Women and Gender Symposium

Texas State symposium speaks out on issues of women and free speech

According to the CIA World Factbook, 49.6 percent of the world’s population are women. However, even with a roughly equal segmentation of the population, women still face inequality in employment, poverty and literacy.

On Friday, March 30, Texas State professors and students will speak out on issues of women and free speech at the “Occupy Free Speech: Getting Women’s Voices Heard” international symposium from 9-1:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room (3-15.1) of the LBJ Student Center.

The event is free and open to the public, although attendees are encouraged to RSVP to mcgs@txstate.edu or (512) 245-2361. Complimentary lunch will be provided. 

Coinciding with Texas State’s 2011-2012 Common Experience theme “Freedoms: The First Amendment,” the symposium will be an opportunity for women across the Texas State community and around the nation to provide diverse perspectives on issues of free speech for women in the U.S. and around the globe.

With topics ranging from women’s voices and representation in the media, government, corporations, activism, domestic violence and more, attendees can get a broader glimpse of what constitutes free speech for the female gender around the world. According to Sandra Mayo, director of the Center for Multicultural Gender Studies and the symposium chair, the event’s name draws from the mass protest movement Occupy Wall Street in order to draw political attention to a worldwide issue.

“The Occupy Movement has grown beyond its origin on Wall Street to encompass a variety of protest movements. Our symposium topic, ‘Occupy Free Speech,’ draws attention to gender and free-speech issues in many phases of life,” said Sandra Mayo.

Because women constitute 70 percent of the world’s impoverished population, two-thirds of illiterate adults, and a continually increasing proportion of the unemployed, Mayo says the topics of the symposium are worldwide issues happening now.

“Women’s freedom of speech is at issue around the world,” Mayo said. “Symposium participants will hear wide-ranging viewpoints on women’s free speech by presenters from American institutions and from Canada and India.”

For more information about lecturers and topics of the symposium, visit the symposium’s website here.

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