International Women’s Day at UVU

March 8th the International Women’s Day is a significant day where we celebrate appreciation, respect and love toward women, including mothers who sacrifice their lives for their children to achieve their goals, dreams and happiness. On this significant day we also shouldn’t forget about the mothers who are not among as. On Monday March 7, 2016 we celebrated this amazing day at Utah Valley University.  We were introduced to women who are working in amazing different areas, such as rocket scientists, humanitarian aid workers, pilots, fighters, professors, fashion designers.  All these women are great leaders who are using their knowledge or building technology to change lives. We should keep shining a light on their diversity and roles across the world. The louder we can hear their voices the better we can change the world.

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Student Round Table Participants during International Women’s Day Celebration (L to R):

Darian Hackney, Kiersten Dumas, Megan Raines and Mary Cisneros

During the event Utah Valley University hosted several students and professors who spoke to us regarding women in society, domestic violence among other issues.  I would have loved to have heard more about women in education. I think women in education is one of the important subjects to talk about it. For example, in some countries such as Pakistan or Afghanistan it is very hard for women to obtain education and achieve their goal. They are not only facing economic difficulties but potential terror threats and oppressive religious and political regimes. According to Sharia law and religion of Islam women are limited in education and freedom of speech. Women and girls have been victims of merciless power struggles for centuries in these societies. In majority of Islamic societies women are discriminated in different areas such as, education, unequal salaries.  Man is superior not only at home but also in workplaces.

I think we should focus more about “women and education in Islamic societies.”  I think we have brave women and girls in Islamic societies such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, but not all of them are fortunate like Malala to overcome and survived the brutality of fanatic Muslims such as, Taliban or ISIL. Stabbings or pounding on women and girls, especially domestic violence, cutting nose or part of their bodies, acid attacks,  honor killings, forced marriage that have become a growing problem in Islamic countries. It is a vicious, barbaric and inhumane act toward women. In such as society where the Sharia law is the rule of the law, women and girls can’t live with confidence and feel safe. Unfortunately, majority of women and girls fear physical harm from their own family members. It is sad but true.

I was born in Afghanistan and used to live there for over 16 years, then moved to the Czech Republic. Even though, Afghanistan is a country where women are discriminated and do not have possibilities for higher education. We still have brave women who sacrifice everything for their children to achieve their goals and dreams.  For example, my mother provided me higher education in Prague the Czech Republic where I studied Languages and used to work over 14 years as an interpreter and translator for the Ministry of Home affairs in Prague including, immigration Police, Criminal and investigation department. As an interpreter I was able to help women in need who were seeking help from the United Nations, as well as the Czech Republic police.  Women have an important role to play in all professions.  International Women’s Day helps us come together to share ideas and inspiration.

Stella Przybyla, UVU student