Oakton announces Women's History Month events

Des Plaines, Ill. (March 1, 2023) – Community members are invited to Oakton College Women’s History Month events. In addition to events for students, Oakton is hosting three events – free and open to the public – about the feminist movements in the Global South to honor Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.

"During Women's History Month, we want to center the important intellectual and activist work of feminists across the Global South, whose voices are not often included in the dominant narratives of women's history. We hope these events will shed light on the diverse experiences and perspectives of leaders within transnational gender justice movements,” said Lindsey Hewitt, professor of Anthropology and Humanities and coordinator of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

The Global South generally includes Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Oakton’s three events examine feminist movements in Asia and Latin America.

Feminism in Asia and the Asian Diaspora
Wednesday, March 8, 1 - 2 p.m., virtual
Join Oakton’s Associate Professor of Humanities Ahalya Satkunaratnam, as she leads a virtual talk about feminism in Asia and the Asian Diaspora in honor of International Women's Day. During the presentation, Satkunaratnam will share the roots of the globally recognized day and talk about a few known and lesser-known struggles across Asia that uphold feminist values of dignity and liberation. Participants will also be invited to share their inspirations in social movements locally and globally. 

Satkunaratanam earned a Ph.D. in dance history and theory from the University of California, Riverside. Her book, “Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict: Practicing Bharata Natyam in Colombo, Sri Lanka” won the 2021 Dance Studies Association's de la Torre Bueno® First Book Award. Satkunaratanam is a dancer and choreographer and recently produced the dance film “Agni,” which is available on YouTube.

Feminism in Latin America and the Caribbean
Tuesday, March 28, 1 - 2:30 p.m., virtual
Join Oakton’s Assistant Professor of Earth Science and Geography Valeria Benson-Lira, to learn more about the evolution and current trends in feminist movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. In both regions, gender roles have been defined by power, colonialism and religion. In recent years, women have achieved some recognition of their rights, however, at a great cost. Hear more about their ongoing efforts for equality. 

A native of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, Benson-Lira joined Oakton in 2019 and has lived in Chicago since 2015. She has a master’s degree in geography from Arizona State University and a bachelor's in industrial engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. Her research interests include the following areas: urban climatology, human migration due to climate change, world regional geography, student learning development through community involvement, online learning and online course design accessible to minority students. In addition, Benson-Lira has presented at international and national conferences on various topics.

Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Pakistan
Wednesday, April 5, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m., in-person (Des Plaines campus) and virtual
Join Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, Rabia Ali to discuss gender equality and women's empowerment issues in Pakistan. 

Currently, Ali is a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Harper College. She received the Australia Award for her doctorate from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and was a Fulbright fellow at Brown University (2019-2020). Ali specializes in the sociology of gender, and her expertise includes globalization, higher education, women’s empowerment, women’s leadership, violence against women, identity, culture, work and occupation, and qualitative research methods.

For more information about events at Oakton, please visit our event page online.

Professor Satkunaratnum

Professor Satkunaratnam will facilitate the “Feminism in Asia and the Asian Diaspora” lecture.

Professor Benson-Lira

Professor Benson-Lira will facilitate the “Feminism in Latin America and the Caribbean” lecture.

Professor Ali

Professor Ali will facilitate the “Gender Equality and Women 's Empowerment in Pakistan” lecture.