New Student Assistant Brings Diverse Interests to the Women’s Center

Riham MBy Riham Mohammed

Hello everyone! My name is Riham Mohammed, but I go by Rama because it is easier to pronounce. I am a junior double major student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Missouri – Kansas City. I am Middle Eastern, from Bagdad the capital of Iraq. I speak Arabic, Kurdish and a little bit of Turkish in addition to English of course. I was born in Iraq but was raised in Syria. I moved to the United States in 2011 and I started my journey at UMKC 2 months after I arrived.

Why Engineering and why UMKC? Well, I have always been told that I am great at solving math and physics problems and since I like technology and computers, why not computer engineering? But it happened to be a double major because UMKC didn’t really have a major in computer engineering and hardware, just computer science which focused more on software, which isn’t my interest. So the advisors allowed me to create my own path merging two majors in one, Electrical and Computer engineering.  Unfortunately, this meant double the coursework, so I’ve had to take 6 classes every semester and 3 classes every summer semester for the past 3 years to arrive to where I am right now – Proud!

Things to know about Rama: 1) I am a very enthusiastic family person, my family comes before everything and I love them so much;  2) I have some crazy hobbies like fixing computers or program coding to make our lives easier; 3) I love swimming, listening to music, and everything related to something FUN; 4) I like fashion and make-up, which it might seems hard with my full loaded school schedule and work but I always mange to dress up and feel pretty;  5) I love Italian food and I try as many Italian restaurants as I can when I travel; and 6) I love car racing in my SRT charger!

This is my first week of work at the Women’s Center and it is also my first experience with the work-study program, and it has been fun and exciting so far. I am looking forward to attend events and seeing how the Women’s Center helps women in school and guides them through their journeys.


The dating world is a tough feat for singles out there. Online dating can be a web of falsehoods, while meeting others at work- or in a bar doesn’t offer much success either. The world is a tough feat for cis, able-bodied heterosexuals. But what if you don’t meet that mold?

In a world where identities outside the “norm” already face an uphill battle against society, the dating realm can leave many asking the question: am I loveworthy?

Read the story of Andy, a trans woman trying to find love. She offers the candid truth about the heartbreak, but she also shows us how everyone deserves a happy ending.

Mind the Gap

By: Amanda Johnson

Since the early 2000’s, many states have been chipping away at the right of choice, creating almost an “underground railroad,”

More abortion restrictions have been passed in the last three years than in the last decade, according to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization.

From 2011 to 2013, a total of 205 abortion restrictions were enacted in the United States. By comparison, only 189 state abortion restrictions went into effect between 2001 and 2010. The report found that now 27 states are “hostile” to abortion, meaning that they have at least four kinds of major restrictions to legal abortion.

About half of the new abortion restrictions enacted in the last three years fall into four categories: targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP), restrictions on abortion coverage in health insurance plans, bans on abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and limitations on medication abortion. States also passed mandatory ultrasound requirements, mandatory waiting periods before abortions, parental consent laws and requirements that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The recent laws create severe burdens on the ability of clinics to keep their doors open. As of this past August, at least 54 abortion clinics have closed or stopped offering the procedure across the country since 2010 according to The Huffington Post’s nationwide survey of state health departments, abortion clinics and local abortion-focused advocacy groups.

This is widening the already existing gap for low-income women trying to legally access the procedure. 1/3 of women seeking abortion services must travel more than 25 miles. Additionally, abortion can cost as much as one month’s rent. Maybe more. New hurdles such as mandatory waiting periods and additional (and unnecessary) medical procedures pile on more costs for women who already face economic challenges. Now, a “medical abortion,” which requires two doses of a pill, requires a second appointment to be able to take the second pill when in the past women were allowed to do this at home. Abortions, a safe a simple medical procedure, can now require up to four separate appointments. This costs more time and money for individuals, who are unlikely to be able to afford it.

Fortunately for many individuals, volunteers and nonprofit organizations are stepping in to help overcome these new hurdles. In some cases, this involves giving women rides to clinics or putting them in hotels for the duration of their appointments. Unfortunately, more hurdles are yet to come. These newest restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg on a broader assault on a woman’s right to choose. It will take the help of more volunteers to ensure that women still have access to a right protected by the 14th amendment.

See how you can help by checking out these links:


Throwback Thursday

By: Amanda Johnson

Last June, the World Health Organization published a revealing and haunting study. WHO found that nearly one-third of all women in the world have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner or sexual violence from a non-partner. WHO calls violence against women a global health problem of epidemic proportions.

Click the links to learn more:

T-Shirts, Buttons, and Chocolate Vaginas, Oh My!

The season of V-Day is upon us!

We have tons of events going on to celebate V-Day, and promote violence prevention for violence against women and girls. There are events all month long (and into March!) that aim to bring attention to the V-Day Movement and call the UMKC campus to action to end violence against women and girls.

Have you licked your vagina today? Stop by 105 Haag Hall to purchase a chocolate vagina, and lick away!

Have you licked your vagina today? Stop by 105 Haag Hall to purchase a chocolate vagina, and lick away!

At all of our events we have our amazing V-Day T-Shirts and V-Day Buttons for sale. In addition, we have the renowned chocolate vaginias in both milk and dark chocolate. Stop by any (or all!) of our events listed below to purchase items! Or, swing by The Women’s Center at 105 Haag Hall during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to buy any of the items!

We hope you will join us in the fight to end violence against women and girls!

Our Events:

We have various interactive tables where participants can refelct on healthy relationships and express their reflections by creating shrink art charms! The dates/times/locations of our tables are as follows:

  • Thursday, Feb. 13; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Royall Hall
  • Monday, Feb. 17; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Health Sciences Building
  • Thursday, Feb. 27; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; Oak Street Residence Hall

We also have our V-Men event, where a facilitated discussion about gender violence takes place among men. Our event will be on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m., and there will be FREE PIZZA!

Our V-Day initiative for the year comes to a spearhead on Tuesday, March 4 with our benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. o purchase tickets, please visit the UMKC Central Ticket Office at 4949 Cherry or online at

For more information about all of our V-Day events, please “like” us on Facebook and Tumblr, follow us on Twitter, and visit our UMKC V-Day 2014 site!

New Student Assistant Aims to Empower Youth and Prevent Violence

?????????????????????????????????????Hi, there! My name is Colleen Lucas and I am a new student assistant at the Women’s Center. I graduated from UMKC with a Bachelor’s of Art in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography in 2012.

My interest in gender equality really began while learning about the underrepresentation of women in the art world in art history classes during my undergraduate career. Since then I haven’t been able to turn away from the issues women and minorities encounter. I am interested in pursuing a career in Social Work or in Middle School Education- maybe both, why not? Positively influencing young women (and men, too) as a means to (hopefully) prevent violence is my ultimate goal. I am excited to be involved with the Women’s Center in bringing events that raise awareness to our campus and community, and also to offer support to my campus peers.