By Adrianna Castaneda
Four prestigious female speakers came together to discuss current global events and their local impact at the fourth annual International Women’s Symposium in the Hunter Welcome Center on Saturday.
The theme was Making a Difference, and speakers addressed topics of education, economy and the status of women worldwide. The Abilene branch of the American Association of University Women, led by President Jeannie Best, organized the event as a way to address societal issues regarding gender.
The AAUW has been promoting education and equity for women and young girls since 1881 and has an active role in providing a voice and promising a future for women, according to the AAUW Web site.
Hasina Raharinomenjanahary (’09), spoke about the lives of women and young girls in Madagascar. Maria Viera-Williams, AAUW-Texas international affairs liaison and membership diversity chair, encouraged involvement in national and international issues affecting women.
Linda Egle, founder and CEO of Eternal Threads, shared stories of her work with women in India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Madagascar and Thailand. She addressed other topics, including the education of females in these countries, human trafficking of girls in Nepal and the opportunities for women to receive loans and establish small businesses.
Brenna Troncoso, professor of political science at McMurry University, delivered a presentation titled Human Trafficking: Notes from Central Texas, in which she addressed misconceptions people have about human trafficking and what Texans are doing to address the problem.
“It’s exciting to see that these issues are being discussed in Abilene, and I hope the conversation continues,” Troncoso said.
Information regarding AAUW membership and similar upcoming events can be found on the organization’s Web site, www.aauw.org.