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Montana State University international student panel celebrates International Women's Day

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Mar 07, 2024

BOZEMAN — Friday, March 8, is International Women's Day. Montana State University celebrated on Wednesday with a panel of international students who gathered to discuss how women are celebrated around the world.

“Having a women's day helps women to see that they're not just women. They're humans. They are part of the community. Not just a woman who belongs in a house. They can have the same opportunity as men, they can do just as good as a man can,” said Redempta Manzi Muneza.

Redempta was one of the four international panelists. She discussed how women are celebrated in Rwanda, the country she is from, and spent most of her life. Other panelists consisted of Maleeya Knows His Gun, representing Native American culture, Asal (Fatemeh) Aflatounian representing Iran, and Celia Koh, representing France.

This diverse panel reeled in an audience of eager learners, which meant a lot to the international panelists. They say days like this help their voices feel heard in a setting where they may usually feel muffled.

“I feel like the university often, and Montana as a whole, we’re kind of in our own little bubble. And so I think giving everyone the opportunity to share their experiences as women from different backgrounds is very important for everyone in the university and Montana to see,” said Maleeya Knows His Gun.

This panel of inspiring international women took time to talk to me about what it means to be a woman in any culture, and why having a day such as International Women's Day is so important.

“With everything that has happened to women's rights over the world. With everything politically, religiously, socially. It’s just such a huge concept and such a huge subject, that it can’t be ignored. And having an International Women's Day is so important for that,” Celia Koh told me.

And although women have this day to celebrate their accomplishments in this society, this panel made it clear that women of all cultures should be celebrated every day, and help each other live up to our full potential.

“I also try to inspire other people in my country, especially other women. In my major or different majors. If they need help and they want to know how I got here, I always try to give people advice and contact them by giving them a phone call and try to help. My plan is to follow on that for the future and try to inspire people to follow their dreams” said Asal (Fatemeh) Aflatounian.