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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Forum to look at women’s role in fall election

    The 2008 election year has been nothing short of historical for the presence of women in politics. With female representatives from each party playing valuable roles in the elections, the Women’s Resource Center is out to determine whether the 51 percent minority has finally found some footing in the political realm.

    The UA Women’s Resource Center, along with the women’s studies department, will be presenting a “”Women in Politics Forum”” tonight, an open event meant to spark conversation and serious thought on those in politics without a Y-chromosome.

    Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, along with Democratic Primary contender Hillary Clinton, have brought heightened media coverage of women into this presidential election. The forum will dissect not only the portrayal of Palin and Clinton in the media, but will also examine how women have grown within the world of politics, said Malia Uhatafe, WRC co-director.

    “”Our first segment will be about the role women play in politics, in regards to voting and the candidates,”” Uhatafe said. “”So we have someone from the Democratic Party talking about Hillary Clinton and the Obama family. We also have someone from the Republican Party talking about Sarah Palin and the McCain family.””

    The second segment of the night will examine the role women have played in the 2008 presidential election. Uhatafe said that the presentation will include a powerpoint that sifts through various media clips, observing what hidden messages the media might be conveying about a specific female candidate.

    “”We have a clip from an interview where Hillary Clinton is talking about sexism,”” Uhatafe said. “”After that interview, the reporters gave comments on what she said, so we will examine whether or not there was any sexism evident, and if it was really fair of them to say certain things.””

    NBC’s Saturday Night Live has gained political recognition of late due to comedian Tiny Fey’s infamous impersonation of Palin.

    “”The ‘Women in Politics Forum’ will exam how SNL has portrayed Palin, and how the skit affects how she is presented in the media in general.””

    Uhatafe said that the WRC and the women’s studies department hope to attract everyone to this event, because time is waning before Election Day.

    “”I will definitely be going tomorrow. I have not voted yet, and I think it is awesome that the Women’s Resource Center is presenting an event like this,”” said Alexia Hoff, a finance junior. “”The role women are playing in modern society keeps growing, and this is reflected in this year’s presidential election. It’s important to know what each candidate brings to the table.””

    The Women’s Resource Center is anticipating a diverse audience for the forum.

    “”We will be talking about both parties, so we are hoping to grab the attention of anyone who is interested in politics,”” Uhatafe said. “”We are advocating everyone to vote, educating them on what is at stake, and helping everyone to decide. This is a very unbiased event, and our goal is to provide different perspectives on what is going down as far as the election goes.””

    Jessica Anderson, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said she believes that the presentation of the “”Women in Politics Forum”” exemplifies ASUA’s commitment to educating the student body on the upcoming election.

    “”Every department of our office is certainly focused with involving the student body in the presidential election, including the Women’s Resource Center,”” Anderson said. “”This is an especially exciting election year, and the Women’s Resource Center can be highlighted because of the momentous year in women’s history.””

    The WRC with hold the forum tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the women’s studies department conference room.

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