Millikin Plans Women’s Panel

Here’s How We’re “Balancing for Better” on International Women’s Day

Celebrations for International Women’s Day start around the world and at Millikin on Friday, March 8.

The Center for International Education is partnering with the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement to host a panel of international students. The event will facilitate a conversation between women from different countries around the world.

“It will be interesting to hear their perspectives versus women in the United States,” Tonya Hines, the Assistant Director of Inclusion, said. Hines works in the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement. “We’re just going to talk about what International Women’s Day means to them.”

These students will discuss taboos, stereotypes, privileges, and barriers that they have experienced as women from different parts of the world. Domestic students are encouraged to attend to contribute to the conversation and learn more about the global and local status of women.

“We definitely just want everyone to be able to talk openly about their experiences and ask questions to the students,” Briana Quintenz, Coordinator of International Student Services, said. “I think it’s going to be a really inspirational and uplifting day.”

According to, the holiday is an annual celebration of “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.”

This year’s theme is “Balance for Better,” which encourages people to create a more gender-balanced world. The color purple is used to symbolize women, justice, and dignity, and it has become an official color of International Women’s Day.  

But the celebration does not end after March 8th. The entire month of March is Women’s History Month. The Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement has many events planned to educate Millikin’s campus about women’s history and the current issues that women are facing. Among other events, Hines hopes to bring Planned Parenthood and various female artists to campus throughout the month.

“I’m excited to see the university,” Stephens said. “Hopefully it will be all purple and amazing for the month of March.”

The International Women’s Day panel will likely serve as the month’s main event. Students are encouraged to attend the panel to learn more about women’s status on a global platform and how gender affects students on campus. This is also an opportunity for interaction and conversation between international and domestic students.

“I think that sometimes international students come to campus, and they probably don’t feel like they have a voice,” Hines said. “This will be a good time for not just international students to have a voice, but women, too.”  

The Center for International Education is working alongside the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement to plan this event. Students who want to learn more about Millikin’s international program should visit the Center for International Education or talk to Stephens. Students who are interested in Women’s History Month and the events organized by the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement can come to the office and speak to Hines.

While there have been similar events in the past, this year marks the first time that the Center for International Education and the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement are collaborating for International Women’s Day. This year’s panel is hopefully the beginning of a new tradition, Stephens said.

As International Women’s Day approaches, students and faculty alike are preparing for the holiday and Women’s History Month. Many are eagerly looking forward to the conversation that the panel will ignite between international and domestic students, and they anticipate an important discussion about gender and society.  

“I think the students’ voice is important,” Hines said. “I really like hearing from the students and how they compare their worlds. I think that it will be a really meaningful conversation.”

More details about the International Women’s Day panel will be released soon.