Seminar promotes Women’s rights


Perla Lara

Ana Torres-Bower, Women’s and Gender Studies department chair, giving a Lecture on Global Gender Justice to her philosophy 104 class on Thursday, Feb. 23. Torres-Bower allowed faculty and students to attend her class lecture as an event for the college’s 30-year celebration of Women’s History month.

Perla Lara

Rape, forced prostitution, forced female circumcision, land ownership rights, lack of education and economic inequality are some of the issues girls and women face in the 21st century.

As Cerritos College begins its celebration of Women’s History Month Ana Torres-Bower, Women’s and Gender Studies department chair, opened her classroom to anyone who wanted to listen to her lecture on Global Gender Justice.

The philosophy 104 class had 15 students in attendance for the Thursday, Feb. 23 lecture which featured a short presentation of the book and documentary, “Half the Sky.”

Torres-Bower said, “The class examines case studies and issues concerning environmental issues […] human rights apply to everybody but women’s rights is a subdivision of human rights, but it’s a very clear example of inequalities of women around the world even in the 21st century there are a lot of inequalities.

Nursing major Alex Robles said, he enjoyed the presentation, but was also shocked to realize there was so much gender inequality for girls. It was also a shocked to see how gender inequality is normal for girls around the world.

“I thought that had been done with for a while, but it hasn’t.”

Due to a shortage of time only a few minutes of the documentary Half the Sky were shown. The documentary is based on the book of the same title by Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn. The film features 10 countries and the different women inequality issues they face.

Torres-Bower said, “They are girls! Girls and young women around the world suffer a lot of injustices and inequality. We’re not saying that men do not suffer but for girls and for women the injustices are much greater because there are no laws that protect them.”

The film and lecture’s focus on the international aspect of gender inequality was appreciated by French major Yvette Dubois who said, “It was enlightening, I knew there was pain for women throughout the world but not as severe [as what she saw during the presentation].”

“Living in America you don’t really see it first-hand. It was also nice, there’re a lot of men in our class so it’s nice for them to understand what we go through as women.”

Torres-Bower also discussed the notion of belonging to a global community and belonging to a universal moral community that is above boarders and above the differences that exist between individuals, such as race and economic status.

“Today was an example of our moral responsibility concerning gender justice at a global level. That is very important with the women’s history month because gender equality […] is very important concerning global ethics. We cannot be a just world if we don’t protect our daughters our little girls why do they have to be sold to prostitution?” Torres-Bower concluded.