Workshop challenges gender roles

By: Justin Worthing ~Staff Writer~

Xavier’s Center for International Education (CIE) and Multicultural, Gender and Women’s Center (MGWC) hosted a Global Gender Roles Workshop on Nov. 18.

The event featured Professor Jessica Donohue-Dioh from the social work department as well as two Xavier students who discussed differences in gender roles among various countries and cultures.

“The purpose of the workshop is to encourage students to think about how gender roles play out in different settings,” Taj Smith, director of MGWC, said. “We hope by listening to the stories of peers, U.S.-born students will be critical of their gender socialization when they study or travel abroad.”

Students who attended had the opportunity to sample East African food purchased by the CIE and MGWC. The workshop concluded with students receiving opportunities to sign up for numerous study abroad programs.

The CIE and MGWC created the workshop as a way to celebrate the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education’s International Education Week.

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From left to right, Mai Pham, Chuma Nnawulezi, Lexi Chapman, Adonis Hawari, and Jessica Donohue-Dioh at the Global Gender Roles Workshop.

Other events during this week include Saudi Arabian Dancing and Dinner at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19 in Buenger Hall and Sushi rolling and Chinese Calligraphy Writing at 6 p.m. on Nov 20 in the Gallagher Student Center Clocktower Lounge.

Additional funding for the program came through the Women of Excellence grant awarded to the CIE.

“The Women of Excellence had awarded the CIE with a grant to sponsor the Global X initiative,” Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services May Lee Moua-Vue said. “This workshop is a part of the CIE Global X Initiatives to increase study abroad initiatives funded through the Women of Excellence grant.”

Smith hopes this workshop will provide more insight into the way people think about how culture affects the way we view gender.

“It is important for all Xavier students to think critically about gender identity, expression and the roles that tend to be assigned to the gender binary of men and women,” Smith said. “It is our hope that we can raise more awareness of how culture shapes our gender, as well as expand people’s expectations of what specific genders are (supposed) to be.”

For more information on upcoming CIE events visit