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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tulane chapter.

Happy Women’s History month! In honor of this month, I am writing about one of the things I do to support my personal female empowerment and why you should try it too. 

I attend Tulane University and am part of The Women’s Network. The Women’s Network is an international organization with chapters at college campuses dedicated to celebrating women’s empowerment by encouraging professional development, career growth, and networking opportunities. For more about The Women’s Network, click here.

But first, before focusing on the present, a reminder about the past! Women first gained the right to vote in 1920. Also, fun fact: one reason women initially weren’t allowed to vote was the concern that voting could cause infertility because women would be required to think too hard (don’t believe me? Check out a source here). Women couldn’t open credit cards until 1974 when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed. Happy 49th anniversary!! Though not that long ago, it’s a glimpse at the progress we’ve made. While present restrictions may not be as openly apparent, differences still exist between the male and female experience and should be recognized. 

I plan on going to graduate school. This likely means 5-6 years of school after I graduate from Tulane. I have female friends who plan on attending law school, medical school, or other professions requiring years of intense work. I have had discussions mapping out the next 15 years of my life, planning how I’m going to graduate and get established in my career before having children on a timetable I deem reasonable for me. I don’t see my male peers having these same conversations. While we are in the midst of yet another shift towards gender equality, the US still doesn’t have equal maternity and paternity leave. When I met with a professor to discuss grad school, one of her questions regarding my timeline was whether I wanted a family. At that moment, I actually felt supported and heard. She recognized this as a valid concern for me, and that moment of female support was formative for my growth. 

I joined TWN because there was a need in my life for it. I’m an economics major, and it’s still a gender-bent profession. While I go to a school that’s 61% female, and I have a lot of female friends, I wanted to join a system of women supporting women. TWN is a welcoming space that exists to help me become an empowered professional. Furthermore, it’s not all for one major! On our executive board alone, we have me (an economics major), and we have a variety of majors and double majors, including psychology, communications, environmental studies, and English (amongst others). This variation and overlap curates an environment that can be supportive and collaborative, not cutthroat or competitive.

In return for what I get from the experience, I can be a support system for the women around me. I want to be a strong and independent woman, and I want others to know that they can become the same.  

Everyone should join a club like TWN. There are chapters at 150+ college campuses currently, and if you’re interested in creating a chapter, you should reach out (check if your college has a branch here)! There is always a need for a space like this. In honor of Women’s History Month, I encourage you to look and see if there’s a club like this at your school. If so, give it a shot! You never know, you may really enjoy it. If this isn’t up your alley, that’s okay too. However, in honor of Women’s History Month, I encourage you to find something else that speaks to you as a woman to help you celebrate. 

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Maddie Ray

Tulane '24

I'm Maddie! I'm a junior at Tulane University majoring in economics with a double minor in philosophy and mathematics.