Morgantown W.Va. – Monday is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is Choose to Change.
The annual global event celebrates women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements and raises awareness for advancing women’s equality.
International Women’s Day was started back in the 1900s by working women to raise awareness that they wanted better pay, better working conditions, and better rights in their fields.
The Morgantown National Organization for Women (MNOW) is one of two chapters in the state under the National Organization for Women. Its purpose as an organization is to take action through intersectional activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect all women and girls’ equal rights in all aspects of social, political, and economic life in Monongalia County.
The organization said that they would celebrate their accomplishment of getting more people registering to vote this past election and look forward to making a change in the pay gap between men and women with the Katherine Johnson Fair Pay Act.
“Part of what we’re trying to do in West Virginia on a State level is so that women can find out that they’re being paid less,” Amanda Ray, President of Morgantown NOW chapter, said. “Because a lot of places have a rule in place that says you’re not allowed to share what you make, so that makes it hard to know – and it really does add up to millions of dollars that women aren’t paid.”
The non-partisan non-profit organization has also been doing work to advocate for women’s equality in education, make the equal rights amendment part of the constitution, and more awareness for voting and voting rights.
Morgantown NOW has an event Monday at 7 p.m. to celebrate International Women Day with speaker Carmen Bowes to talk about training women in non-traditional fields such as plumbing, carpentry, and science.