2015 IWDF

Hannah Stanton-Gockel performs at last year’s International Women's Day Festival. This year’s festival will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 15, in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

Photographer: Lauren Pond

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2015 International Women’s Day Festival to be held March 15


In celebration of Women’s History Month, Ohio University will hold its seventh annual International Women’s Day Festival from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 15, in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

An opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women past, present and future while showcasing the talents of Athens’ diverse community, the International Women’s Day Festival is open to the Ohio University and surrounding community. This free event is being sponsored by OHIO’s Women’s Center, the Multicultural Center, the International Student Union, the Black Student Cultural Programming Board, and International Student and Faculty Services.

“The International Women’s Day Festival is designed to educate the campus and the community at large about the progress women have made over the years and to acknowledge the progress that has yet to be made,” explained Susanne Dietzel, director of the Women’s Center and founder of the festival.

“The festival is also an opportunity to highlight the richness and diversity of women in our community, both domestic and international,” Dietzel said. “The festival is both scholarly and entertaining.”

More than 60 people have signed up to participate in this year’s festival as performers, volunteers and vendors. Twenty-five individuals will be showcasing their talents during the event through a variety of performances that will include a martial arts demonstration; Bolivian, Chinese and Middle Eastern dancing; music; poetry; research presentations; and more.

As in years past, the festival will also include an international fashion show. According to Dietzel, the fashion show will feature both traditional and contemporary styles with some of the models showcasing women they admire.

International Women’s Day was first observed in 1911 and has evolved into a global celebration and, in some countries, a national holiday. The theme of this year’s celebration is, “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” Traditionally observed on March 8, Ohio University celebrates International Women’s Day later in the month due to its spring break.