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UHV student group hosts panel to discuss women’s struggles

The University of Houston-Victoria Women’s Empowerment student organization is working with university faculty members to host an April 24 panel discussion aimed at addressing issues faced by women in today’s society.

Beverly Tomek

Battle of the Sex: The Internalized Issues of Women will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the UHV University North Walker Auditorium, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The event will feature a panel led by Beverly Tomek, UHV associate provost and dean of the University College. The Women’s Empowerment student organization is scheduled to be officially chartered in May.

Dominique Mitchell

“We named the event Battle of the Sex because this is about the everyday struggles of one sex, not a ‘battle of the sexes’ conflict between men and women,” said Dominique Mitchell, a Houston junior and president of UHV Women’s Empowerment. “We want to take the word ‘feminist’ back, because so many people see it as meaning that a woman hates men, and that isn’t the truth. It’s about helping women be equal to men and have the same opportunities to advance and succeed.”

The event will begin with discussions by the panelists about topics including sexism, rape culture, micro aggressions, stereotyping, gender roles and the gender pay gap. In addition to the prepared topics, the floor will be opened for attendees to bring their own questions and participate in discussions. The event is free and open to the public.

“There are so many things women don’t get to say and so many things they are told to be,” Mitchell said. “They are told how to dress, how to speak and even how far they can advance in a career. For a long time, women have been internalizing these things, but we want to give them a safe place to come together and share their perspectives.”

Cherlyn Hodge

This event is especially timely given the ongoing national conversations sparked by the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements on social media and in the entertainment industry, said Cherlyn Hodge, a UHV School of Arts & Sciences academic advisor and staff advisor for the student group.

“Women today face a fight that is so engrained in our culture that it has become internal,” Hodge said. “Women have been told what we should be for so long that it’s stuck with us. I was touched and inspired by the mission of these students, and I am glad to see they are taking a stand so we can talk about these issues in Victoria, too.”

To learn more about the event, contact Mitchell at 346-704-7980 or mitchelld@uhv.edu.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.