Be Involved With Women's Issues at the University of Iowa

You are a student at the University of Iowa, and you are a feminist. Great! But now what? Find a way to be involved in the feminist community! There are so many opportunities on our lovely campus to let your feminist flag fly. At Iowa, there are three general routes to expanding your feminist horizons: academia, advocacy and action.

1. Academia

At the University of Iowa, we should feel so proud of the many courses our college offers on topics such as gender, women, sexuality, human rights and social justice. The amount of courses is almost endless! So you’re a feminist who enjoys sports? Consider enrolling in the course Inequality in American Sports (SPST:1074). Maybe you’re super interested in politics? You could take the class Politics of Reproduction (ANTH:3118). Maybe you’re a literature or English buff? Consider taking this super fun class Women in Comics (CLAS:1010). An awesome class to take if you’re wanting to hit on A LOT of feminist issues in one semester is Introduction to Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS:1001). Plan on covering a multitude of relevant topics in one very approachable course.

A lot of courses that focus on feminist topics are listed under the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) department on ISIS, but most certainly not all of them! A wide variety of majors and fields offer courses on feminist issues, so look at your major’s course catalog to see what courses are offered in your field. If academia sounds like your ideal way to be involved in feminism on campus, consider majoring, minoring or getting a certificate in feminist-related issues. A few relevant options are the GWSS major, GWSS minor, GWSS Health and Healthcare Equity minor and the Human Rights certificate. Study away, feminists!

2. Advocacy

Advocacy is often defined as “an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within politics, economics, social systems and institutions." Keep in mind that advocacy isn’t for everyone, and not being involved in community outreach doesn’t make you any less. But if advocacy is how you want to be involved in women’s issues, then you’re in luck because Iowa has so many organizations worthy of your time.

Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC):

This awesome U of I organization has been fighting for equity among individuals, particularly women, since the 1970s! WRAC uses activism, social justice and advocacy to approach feminist issues.

Rape Victims Advocacy Program (RVAP):

RVAP’s mission is to advocate for and support sexual abuse victims by providing 24-hour crisis lines, counseling and group therapy. They also aim to prevent sexual violence crimes through education and awareness campaigns.

Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP):

Domestic Violence is still considered to be one of the greatest threats to men, women and children everywhere. DVIP is founded on the belief that everyone has the right to live free of fear and harm. They offer crisis lines, shelter, and do community education.

3. Action

Last, but most certainly not least, is action. Action simply means taking part in your community’s feminist opportunities. Whether it be attending an event, donating a few dollars here and there or joining a feminist club. Any group that is specifically for women is a great place to start, for example, Women in Business and Women in Science and Engineering. Another fabulous club to consider joining is the University of Iowa Feminist Union. A great upcoming event that’s taking place is the “Feminist Voices Spring 2016 Showcase” taking place at 7pm, April 12th. So get out into the University of Iowa culture and the Iowa City community and take some action! Without feminists who take action, advocacy and even academia wouldn’t be possible.

 

If you’re a feminist and you go to the University of Iowa, don’t sit around! Get involved!