ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

By Ayomide Aruwajoye.

April is a busy month at the Women’s Center. National Equal Pay Day is on the 9th of this month, and all we are observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month with events throughout April. Below is are serveral links to blogs and news items that coincide with our April programs. For more information on Women’s Center and Violence Prevention and Response Project events, visit us online.

Slut walking

Slut walking has made its way to Kansas City, Missouri! A police officer in Canada told a college class that women should “not dress like sluts” if they don’t want to be raped. Women were not just going to let this one go. With signs that read, “my little black dress does not mean yes,” and, “Don’t tell us how to dress, tell them not to RAPE,” they marched through the streets to show women should be able to dress how they want without being accused of wanting to be raped.

To read more click on the link http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/local_news/slut-walk-advocates-for-sexual-assault-victims


As India Struggles To Address Sexual Violence, Female Tourists Stop Visiting

The idea of teaching women “not to get raped” is a global issue. Can you imagine two women being raped every 60 seconds? This might be shocking news to you, but in India it’s just another estimated statistic. You might think that’s the most shocking part, but it’s far from over. Lingerie to ‘help’ women fight sexual offences in India. Crazy right?

To read more about the subject click on the links below


President Obama Hosts a Celebration of Women’s History Month at the White House

On March 18, President Obama welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day.

To read more click on link http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/03/18/president-obama-hosts-celebration-womens-history-month-white-house


National Equal Pay Day

UMKC Womens Center celebrates National Equal Pay Day!

  • Join us on the Quad for resources and food with the UMKC Women’s Center, UMKC Career Services, American Association of University Women, and the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. Learn more about the wage gap and gather resources about salary negotiation.

Click on the link for more info https://info.umkc.edu/womenc/2013/03/28/april-9th-is-national-equal-pay-day/


AAUW takes a stand too!

Tuesday, April 9 is Equal Pay Day! AAUW-KC will be partnering with the UMKC Women’s Center  to present activities.

Click on the link for more info http://kansascity-mo.aauw.net/2013/01/11/equal-pay-day-rally-missouri-womens-lobby-day-april-17/


Anti-Street Harassment Week 

Meet Us On the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week is an opportunity to collectively raise awareness that street harassment happens and that it’s not okay. All over the country people are standing up to say that it’s their neighborhood, their park, their streets too and they want to feel safe.

To get more information about the Meet Us on the Streets Movement and how you can participate click on the link http://www.meetusonthestreet.org/about/


Sheryl Sandberg advances gender equality

“I want to ask if you’ve ever said out loud the following sentence…‘I want to be the number one in my field, I want to be the CEO of the company I work in, I want to be president,’” said Sheryl Sandberg. Ms. Sandberg is truly making a difference with her new book, Lean In. Her book is about the absence of leadership roles held by women around the world in fields ranging from business to government and offers solutions to this lack of gender parity. “I want to especially do this for the women, because the blunt truth is that men still run the world,” Sandberg said. “Unequivocally. No questions about it.”

To read more about Ms. Sandberg and her exceptional book click on the link http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/04/02/sheryl-sandberg-advances-gender-equality/

April 9th is National Equal Pay Day

This year’s National Equal Pay Day occurs on April 9th. This date represents how far in 2013 women must work to earn the same wages that men earned in 2012.  Join us on the Quad for resources and food with the UMKC Women’s Center, UMKC Career Services, American Association of University Women, and the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. Learn more about the wage gap and gather resources about salary negotiation.


In the meantime, take a few minutes to review these online resources to learn more about National Equal Pay Day.


The official website for the National Committee on Pay Equity.



The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, they have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of millions of women and their families.



From Forbes writer Megan Casserly, a quick read on why the pay gap is widening and how that can actually benefit women. Be sure to check out the slideshow describing what women could afford if they earned equal pay for equal work.



Jillian Berman of Huffington Post explains how recovery of the national economy held back job growth for women.



A great article posted on the AAUW website by Beth Pearsall on the origins of Fair Pay legislation dating back to the 1890s.



Learn more about Sheryl Sandberg and her Lean In campaign that has been gaining recognition since she premiered her message at a TED Talk in 2010. Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, was released on March 11, 2013.



Read Melissa Stanger’s criticism of stereotyped portrayals of women in STEM fields and her assessment of how the media perpetuates those images.



Alix Montes’ reviews Amanda Palmer’s TED talk on “The Art of Asking.”



Meredith Repore shares tips for a successful job interview.


For more information on the Women’s Center and our calendar of events, visit us online, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.


Women’s History Month Profile: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

By Briana Ward.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was known as the leader for women’s rights in Nigeria, and she was also known as “The Mother of Africa.”  I would like to take this time to acknowledge her for Women’s History Month and share her story and the changes she made in Nigeria.

kuti 2Kuti was raised by parents who believed in the value of education. She attended school in Abeokuta and England. Kuti returned home to teach, and in 1925 married the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, founder of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Students (NUS), a forerunner of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC). Kuti was active in the NCNC, leading the women’s wing.


A career in feminist activism began for Kuti in 1932 when she founded the Abeokuta Ladies Club (ALC). Initially membership was mostly Western-educated and working-class women. The club expanded in 1944 to include market women. To begin working against injustice and the exploitation of market women, in 1946 the ALC became the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU), and membership was expanded. Over 100,000 Abeokuta women worked together to provide social welfare services and to pursue a gender-conscious agenda. In 1949, the AWU expanded to the Nigerian Women’s Union (NWU), a national organization that became known at the Federation of Nigerian Women’s Societies (FNWS) in 1953. With Kuti’s leadership, the FNWS was dedicated to addressing the concerns of all Nigerian women and improving their position in society, including education, suffrage, health care, and other social services.

“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a pioneering nationalist who fought against British colonialism and a cultural nationalist…a pioneer African feminist and a human rights activist who was tireless in her campaigns for women’s rights and for economic, political, and social justice. She was an educator who gave a voice to the voiceless and education to the uneducated.” – Oxford Dictionary of African Biography

Kuti biography coverKuti’s was a powerful voice across Nigeria. I love that she was a woman who was not only leading and teaching women, but teaching everyone. Her defense of women was her mission, and her words and actions mattered in Nigerian society.  If you want to read Kuti’s biography and what she has done to affect the feminist movement, look for:  For Women and the Nation: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti of Nigeria by Cheryl Johnson-Odim and Nina Emma Mba.

Donate Denim to Raise Awareness

2013-Demin-Day-DriveComing up in the month of February, the Violence Prevention and Response Project is sponsoring a Denim Drive. The Denim Drive is co-sponsored by MOCSA and the Office of Student Involvement. This event is part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month which officially takes place in April. Drop off denim in the red donation bins at the Women’s Center, 105 Haag Hall, and at the Office of Student Involvement, 320 Student Union.

Donate gently used denim that will become the canvas for artwork for others to witness during the Denim Day display in April. All donated denim will be decorated at our Make a Statement with Denim event on Tuesday, April 4. Jeans will be designed to make a statement against sexual assault, and will be used in the Denim Day 2013 display April 15-24.


For more information on this or other Women’s Center and Violence Prevention and Response Project events, please visit our websites. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

April 17th Is Equal Pay Day

By Carolina Costa


[Pictured above: Women Pressers on Strike for Higher Wages. Kheel Center, Cornell University: Ithaca, New York]

Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act as well as other civil rights laws such as Title VII have helped to narrow the wage gap, significant disparities among men and women remain which need to be addressed. 1 Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.

Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, so the NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. According to the U.S. census Bureau and Bureau of Labor statistics, women who work full time earn about 77 cents for every dollar men earn. Minority women face an even larger wage gap: compared to white men, African American Women make 70 cents on the dollar (African American men make 74 cents); Hispanic or Latina women make about 60 cents (Hispanic men make almost 66 cents).1

This year the UMKC Women’s Center and Career Services will host an information table to raise awareness of the wage gap. Stop by our table to learn helpful negotiating skills, ways to improve your resume and cover letter, how to ace an interview, or to just learn interesting facts about women and minorities in the workforce. We will have pizza to help illustrate a pie chart about the pay disparity, and information about upcoming events that will help you narrow the gap. Don’t miss it! 

National Equal Pay Day Table
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Time: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: UMKC Royall Hall
800 E. 52nd Street
Kansas City, MO

 Want more information on National Equal Pay Day?  Stop by these websites.

For more information about the UMKC Women’s Center and our upcoming events please visit our website: http://www.umkc.edu/womenc/ or call us at (816) 235-1638

To find out more about Career Services visit their website: http://php.umkc.edu/career/  

In Case You Missed It: Women in the Media Around the World

By Armelle Djoukoue 

1) SYRIA: International Women’s Group Begins Mapping Sexual Violence In Syria http://bit.ly/Hy2o5P

2) MALTA: European Economic Crisis ‘Exacerbating’ Domestic Violence http://bit.ly/H6dtOp 

3) GREAT BRITAIN: British Asian Activists Attacked For Promoting Women’s Rights http://bbc.in/GQu4V1 

4) UNITED STATES: Recent Poll Shows That Education Is A Factor for Independent Women Voters http://politi.co/H8u4Pm 

5) ZIMBABWE: Nation to Host Women Summit http://bit.ly/HPjWKW

[Photo Credit: Stef Thomas]

Short-Film Addresses Women’s Equality in Revolutionary Egypt

By Armelle Djoukoue


Gender inequality in Egypt is a big issue. In April of 2011 Belgian feminist and women’s rights activist, An Van Raemdonck, traveled to Cairo and interviewed Egyptian women’s rights activists. She inquired with Egyptian women about what the revolution in Egypt meant to them and how they intended to advance women’s rights in the midst of political turmoil. The women interviewed by Raemdonck are all engaged in women’s rights movements, some as heads of established organizations, and others as younger activists within new groups. You can watch footage of the interviews in Van Raemdonck’s short-film Women and the Egyptian Revolution. The content of the film focuses on women’s rights activism and discusses the advancement of women’s equality in Egypt during the revolutionary process and in the specific context of political transition. In many countries women are afraid to fight for equality; this is an educative short-film that demonstrates the courage it takes for some women to fight for their rights.

Stories From Behind Bars

By Lakhvir Kaur

This video reflects how simple human rights are taken away from Afghan women. Women are considered property by Afghan men and if a woman tries to escape her violent husband, or a forced marriage, or if they are raped, they are usually sent behind bars. This means that there are a lot of women in Afghan prisons for crimes that you and I wouldn’t consider criminal. Gulnaz, an Afghan woman, has a similar story. She was raped by her cousin’s husband and  she was put behind bars for adultery. The brutal attack on the poor woman does not stop here, but rather she was offered a pardon by judge only if she agrees to marry her rapist. Could you imagine being forced to choose between marrying your rapist or staying in prison? This is just one story, but there are thousands of stories of Afghan women which are left unheard behind bars.

Nursing Mothers vs. The LSAT

Image from Google

By Maritza Gordillo

As a college student, I know for a fact that many struggle when it comes to taking exams. Some get anxious, nervous, distracted, and even scared, but when the exam is over, you feel somewhat relieved until the day you see those test scores. The same happens when it comes to nursing mothers taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), but with one difference; it is a necessity for nursing mothers to pump breast milk. If a nursing mother is not pumping breast milk, it can cause several health risks and it can cause leaking, which in anyone’s situation is an embarrassing moment. Not only are there health risks and embarrassment involved, but not pumping on time can also cause a lot of pain. That pain and leaking could cause distraction and more anxiety for the test.

Sign the petition that changes the blanket policy of denying all requests for accommodation for nursing mothers made by the Law School Admissions Council. If nursing mothers are not given the right accommodations to take the LSAT, their scores can be affected and jeopardize their admission to Law School.

More Women Needed in Nigerian Politics

Image via Blacklooks.org

By Lakhvir Kaur 

I recently read an article about how it has been twelve years, since Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria has become democratic. However, women are still considered secondary in male dominated politics.  The country has made some progress in increasing the number of women in politics, but change is relatively gradual. The National Center for Women Development showed that there were 9 female senators out of 109, compared to 4 in 2003. Also, there were 26 female members in the House of Representatives out of 360, compared to 23 in 2003. Between 2006 and 2009, 2 women were appointed to the Supreme Court bench, while female Deputy Governors increased from 2 in 2003 to 6 in 2007.This data shows that while change is possible it is slow and not enough to make a significant difference.

According to a writer, who was questioning why a woman would bother running, “Nigeria is a male-dominated, chauvinistic country stifled by culture, tradition and social rankings that make the Indian caste system look feeble.” Coming from Indian background, I totally understand the seriousness of this statement. I have witnessed the poor condition of lower caste where they are not paid according to their labor and are compelled to work under high caste. This not only deprives them from good education but also leads to poor finances. Not to mention they don’t have much of a voice in what goes on in their own country, much like the women of Nigeria.

Just as in many other countries, including the U.S., gender inequality still exists in Nigeria. There are things that need to change to improve the lives of women and having a say in their politics is a good place to start.

Despite the fact that women make the majority of the population and the majority of voters, women’s roles in politics are still really small. The important thing to notice here is if women can’t participate in politics then who will bring change in the lives of women?