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International Women’s Day speaker on March 2: Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan

| Denise Olson

Photo caption: Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan is the author of six books, the latest a monograph titled "Siren Song: Understanding Pakistan Through its Women Singers."

As a part of Women's History Month, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will celebrate International Women’s Day on March 2. 

Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan will give a virtual keynote address at 5 p.m. March 2 as part of the celebration. Afzal-Khan, a professor of English and former director of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies at Montclair State University, is a cultural materialist who works at the intersection of feminist theory, cultural and performance studies and postcolonial studies. Her virtual presentation is titled “Neoliberalism, Rentier Capitalism and the Precariat: Women’s Activisms and Solidarity from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.”

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with attendees. Questions may be submitted to the live Zoom meeting chat

Dr. Rose-Marie Avin, professor of economics and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at UW-Eau Claire, explains how the celebration helps to connect the roots of International Women’s Day to the present-day lives of women worldwide.

“Originally known as the International Working Women’s Day, it has its roots in the socialist and feminist struggles of the early 20th century,” Avin says. “Today, International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world to recognize the significant achievements and contributions of women to all aspects of life in society.

“While it is indeed a day for celebration, it is also a day for reflection. We must acknowledge the ongoing struggles and injustices faced by many people throughout the global south. Professor Afzal-Khan will discuss these struggles for liberation and the need for transnational feminist analysis and solidarity.”

In her virtual presentation, Afzal-Khan will describe how she believes that U.S. global dominance in finance has brought the “Third World home to Euro-America,” by creating a two-tiered society of the extremely wealthy and privileged, and the extremely impoverished, who she refers to as an "often superfluous” segment of the population.

Avin looks forward to welcoming a diverse audience to this important discussion, information that will both enlighten listeners and raise awareness about critical global issues.

“Dr. Afzal-Khan’s presentation is an effective way to bring in perspectives and knowledge on feminist, transnational, decolonial and antiracist scholarship,” Avin says. “As this campus strives to be more equitable, inclusive and diverse, the information she presents will surely benefit participants as they think about how to be more effective allies to historically excluded members of the campus and community.”