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Happy International Women’s Day! March 8 is a day to celebrate the global achievements of women and work toward a more gender-equitable future. So if you want to learn more about female empowerment or contribute to the cause but aren’t sure where to start, check out the resources we have listed below.

The Women’s Network: Columbia

Check out its Instagram.

The Women’s Network is a nationwide club that connects undergraduates with professional leaders. Unlike other pre-professional clubs, it encompasses a variety of interests, including business, engineering, and the sciences. By joining the Women’s Network, you will be able to meet other hard-working people from diverse backgrounds. The club organizes many workshops, speakers, and networking opportunities with top titans of industry and pioneers. At these events, you will have many opportunities to deepen your knowledge as well as expand your social connections. Recent events include a “Women of Color in Law” Zoom call with four lawyers as panelists, a discussion on mental wellness and politics with advocate Miyume McKinley, and a talk by author Meredith Fineman.

Superposition

Check out its Instagram. 

The Superposition chapter at Columbia is one of 25 chapters in the country. Superposition is an international organization that aims to achieve gender equality in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and create more opportunities for women in STEM. Some of its activities include a large-scale hackathon in partnership with VSCO and Uber and an Uber mentorship program and chapter program.

Women in Computer Science

Check out its Instagram.

Computer science is a rapidly growing field, but it is also a field that is heavily dominated by men. Women in Computer Science is a great club to break the ice and test members’ love for computer science or continue this passion of yours. Its primary purpose is to bring people of all genders together to support the advancement of women in the computer science field, especially by helping prospective majors. The community is made up of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, and more. This club also hosts many workshops and bonding events; some examples include teaching assistant workshops, internship panels with Columbia alumni working at Google, and mock interview sessions. Women in Computer Science might be a good fit for you if you are interested in learning more about computer science, majoring in the field, or making friends with like-minded people.

Society of Women Engineers

Check out its Instagram.

The Columbia chapter of the Society of Women Engineers club strives to establish more opportunities for women in the engineering field, especially in positions of power. Some of its past events include a “Johnson & Johnson Industry” panel that focused on the female experience in engineering and a “Citibank Technology” panel that focused on Tech at Citi. This club is great for anyone who wants extra support in the engineering field.

Campus opportunities are great for getting involved with other students and making new friends and connections, but for people who are looking for a more global perspective, check out these resources below.

Audiopedia

Audiopedia is an international nonprofit organization that aims to provide free audible health education to illiterate girls and women and close education-associated gender gaps. Specifically, the bulk of the company’s activity focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, where it works with local NGOs to help raise the world’s lowest adult female literacy rate. Audiopedia has already launched successful pilot projects in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nicaragua, and the Congo, providing women and girls with vital information ranging from sex education and gender identity to simple medical facts of immediate use in the household.

The organization restructures the definition of empowerment to address community-specific needs, putting women at the forefront of change and adapting to the social conditions of its female participants. Audiopedia’s instruction is in the local language, the lessons are curated for specific rural populations, and the education is readily available anywhere women would like and through many supported devices. You can help support the cause by joining Audiopedia’s “Crowdimpact” project and becoming one of the thousands of allies!

Solar Sister

The mission of this organization is to fight energy poverty by empowering marginalized women in rural Africa. Solar Sister focuses on fostering a network of female entrepreneurs who resell Solar Sister clean energy technology, in the form of lights and cookstoves, to people in their communities. The company’s efforts are directed toward the region of sub-Saharan Africa where “600 million people have no access to electricity and 700 million people rely on harmful fuels.” As of today, the organization has successfully provided 400,000 clean energy products, reaching approximately 2 million people and supporting over 5,000 female entrepreneurs.

Solar Sister finds the link between sustainable development and gender equality by noticing that climate change widens the gender gap in Africa and that women play a key role in the process of implementing green solutions. External pressure in the form of climate-associated natural cataclysms or disease forces governments and households to adapt. These changes are often in distribution of resources, prioritizing male members of the society over their female counterparts. Organizations like Solar Sister are needed to compensate for the gender disparity.

Girls Write Now 

If you are looking to support a cause that can directly impact the Columbia community, consider Girls Write Now. This New York City-based organization strives to empower young girls to tell their stories and express themselves through writing. GWN inspires its mentees to develop their natural talents and acquire the much-needed confidence for future success in any field. The initiative effectively fills in gaps in the public school system by providing girls with the necessary resources, guidance, and care to explore critical writing, participate in college preparation programs, and publish their pieces.

The organization primarily focuses on supporting underserved girls and gender-nonconforming youth. In fact, the GWN community currently includes 750 mentors and mentees, of whom 90 percent are girls of color, 90 percent are high need, 75 percent are immigrants or first-generation, and 25 percent are LGBTQ. If you want to get involved or recommend one of GWN programs to someone you know, explore the initiative’s website and start making a difference today from the comfort of your dorm room.

We hope these resources will help you deepen your understanding about the cause and connect with new people along the way.

Staff writer Charlotte Wu can be contacted at charlotte.wu@columbiaspectator.com.

Staff writer Victoria Tereshchenko can be contacted at victoria.tereshchenko@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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