Opinion: 2019 is the year to get involved in the Women's Coalition

ASU's Women's Coalition is a great outlet for students to fight for gender equity

The pressure is on to keep the momentum going from the third annual Women's March. Following the march, ASU students should get involved in the on-campus Women's Coalition in 2019.

Being aware of the issues that face women is key to gaining equality across the board. Women shouldn’t stop at gaining awareness of the injustices against women, they should also get involved in organizations that help advocate against these injustices. 

For ASU students, the Women’s Coalition is a way to engage throughout the year on campus through Student and Cultural Engagement, whether it be through a full-time commitment or part-time volunteering. The coalition strives to “cultivate an environment that is conducive to the progression and success of women at the University, local and global levels," according to its mission statement.

Emily Rubio, a junior majoring in sociology and criminology and director of outreach and community relations for ASU's Women’s Coalition, said that the Women’s Coalition is the largest organization at ASU that fights for gender equity. 

“We are trying to be as inclusive as possible and include all students, staff and faculty,” Rubio said.

The coalition's biggest event is the upcoming HERStory month in March, which celebrates women and women-identified people within the ASU community.

“There’s events that range from activities to round table discussions to presentations," she said. "We bring people to campus to educate and celebrate the different qualities that ASU students possess.”

There are a number of injustices that women face as they get older, and college is an especially vulnerable time for women trying to navigate the world.

A book published by Judith Lorber explains how in the 1970s, after women began to enter formerly all-male workplaces and schools, a new way to discredit women's intelligence was established.

“These 'microinequities' of everyday life — being ignored and interrupted, not getting credit for competence or good performance, being passed over for jobs that involve taking charge — crystallize into a pattern that insidiously wears women down,” wrote Lorber. 

These micro-inequities are something college students can see inside the classroom and in the workplace. Oftentimes, women do not speak up for themselves or for others. It is important, however, for young women to gain the skills now to make their presences acknowledged and respected. 

Coalitions that focus on helping women can be found across America. A student's involvement in organizations like these can encourage them to stay involved in these issues throughout their life. 

Feminist issues that affect millennial women are quite different from those issues that affect the older generation. 

According to an article written for The Heritage Foundation by Mary Clare Amselem, “Women are vastly overrepresented in majors that are known to have low returns on investment, such as gender studies or social work.” 

This year, students should add fuel to the fire so it can last longer than a few days after the Women's March.

Reach the columnist at psaso@asu.edu and follow @paytonsaso on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the authors’ and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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