Chico State celebrates International Women’s Day

Chico >> Last month women marched, but on Thursday they celebrated.

Organizers of the Chico Women’s March celebrated International Women’s Day at Chico State University with a rally, music, activism and speeches from local candidates for office, including Audrey Denney, a congressional candidate, and Sonia Aery, who is running for state Assembly.

“We don’t have something to go march in the street for today, so we want to celebrate and we’re bringing it to campus,” organizer Ali Meders-Knight said.

International Women’s Day is observed on March 8 each year to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world and to act as a call-to-action toward gender parity. The day is an important one, Meders-Knight says.

“It is splitting a gender, half the population, into a global movement for positive acknowledgement of our human rights,” Meders-Knight said.

She added that the movement challenges the oppression of women and any policies that harm or oppress women.

Holding the event on campus allowed organizers to bring International Women’s Day to students, Meders-Knight said. Meders-Knight, a member of the Mechoopda tribe, added that she was also able to remind those at the celebration that the campus is on tribal land.

Candidates at the event spoke about their personal experiences and how they hope to make the world a better place for women. Denney shared a personal story about how her niece has inspired her to create a better world for women, and how she is hopeful about the progress made by recent efforts such as the #MeToo movement.

“We’re standing up against thousands of years of imbalanced power dynamics,” Denney said. “We’re trying to combat that.”

Denney said that she hopes the women who attended Thursday’s rally left feeling that they have a voice.

In addition to Thursday’s rally, there will also be an International Women’s Day brunch and celebration 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Chico Women’s Club.

Reach reporter Dani Anguiano at 896-7767.