Katie Mars: Gender Equity

With the #MeToo Movement and the Women’s March, the conversation about gender equality and equity is only growing. Katie Mars has a passion for that conversation. Read her #PassionPreview: “I am passionate about gender equity and have been for most of my life, even if I didn't realize it. My passion grew over time as I began to understand my own lived experiences and how they reflected my gender identity, such as when I was encouraged to run for secretary of a club rather than president or when I was told to let a male teammate lead the cheers for my swim team rather than me. While these incidents were minor, there were the beginning of my awakening to the problem of gender inequality and inequity.”

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Why gender equity? “I am passionate about gender equity because it affects every person- men, women, and people who are non-binary. When people face discrimination or violence due to their gender, or when society tells people they are lesser due to their gender, they are held back from success. How can we succeed as a society when we fail to understand and accept the intersections of identities we all carry?”

To someone not interested in gender equity: “Someone who doesn't like my passion doesn't understand my passion and is refusing to evaluate their own role in the perpetuation of oppressive systems. It is hard to believe that each person can play a role in harmful systems, but it is only when people acknowledge and actively fight against the systems that we can create change and move forward.”

To someone interested in gender equity: “I would say to start by looking at yourself and understanding your own role in gender equity. Is your fight for gender equity intersectional? Are you taking actions steps to combat gender inequity or are you passively watching? Once you understand your own role, get ready for some wonderful days and some difficult days. Look at the past and honor those who have come before us. Look to the future and see who will keep fighting once we are gone.”

Passion Emoji: 🦸‍♀️