Women’s Empowerment Alliance

The Women’s Empowerment Alliance (WEA) is an organization formed in Nov. 2021 to highlight the importance of advocacy and education for women’s rights. The club is a space where members can feel free to talk about topics in the media that heavily affect women in today’s society.

During such a turbulent time in history for women in society, senior and WEA co-founder Maria Pandolfo felt that SHU needed a safe space for women to speak about how they feel.

“We’re in a really bad place in this country and unable to control the rights to our own bodies, so we talk about things that people normally don’t want to talk about,” said Pandolfo. “I try to focus a lot on advocating and educating our members.”

The WEA does a lot of advocacy all around campus with different organizations to improve the lives of women on campus. Their goal is to create an environment where women’s needs are met, and their feelings are heard.

“For the past few months, we’ve been trying to get period products on campus,” said Pandolfo. “We do a lot of sexual health advocacy and really want to get contraceptives on campus.”

The club is having a Women in Leadership event in collaboration with SHU College Democrats on March 30 to discuss women’s issues on campus. They are also planning an interfaith collaboration with Campus Ministry and the Catholic Studies Department to speak on a discussion panel about women’s issues.

Junior Hadley Bansal learned about the WEA on Instagram, and now follows them to stay updated.

“I believe that this club positively affects the SHU community by raising awareness to some issues that women face on a daily basis, such as the ‘pink tax’ and period product disparities,” said Bansal. “I think it’s great that they stand up for equality among all genders.”

The WEA is only one of the ways students at SHU can get involved in the study and conversation of women’s rights. The Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies minor encompasses all of the club’s ideals in a way to educate students while getting their degrees.

History Department Professor and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Coordinator Kelly Marino sees the minor as an opportunity for people with all kinds of interests to get involved in gender studies in different ways.

“The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor at SHU is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to take classes in a variety of different fields on topics that relate to social justice and equity issues and issues of identity and the human experience,” said Marino. “It compliments many majors from psychology, sociology, history, political science, and the health professions.”

Marino believes the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor is an important way for students to practice inclusivity and reach the school’s mission of promoting the DEIB agenda. The minor allows students to take their passion for topics of women and gender further in their education.

The Women’s Empowerment Alliance meets biweekly on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center. Their next meeting will be on Thursday, March 30.

Further information and resources can be found on the club’s Presence website at sacredheart.presence.io. The website also includes a link to a LinkTree where students can sign petitions, find women’s health resources, and more information about the club itself.

Students can find the club on Instagram at @womens.alliance.shu.

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