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Film Series Celebrates International Women’s Day

Women’s Resource Center hosts weekly films and discussions: tonight Very Young Girls

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March 8 marks the centennial celebration of International Women’s Day, a global event that celebrates the economic, political, and social achievements made by women. The theme of this year’s event is Equal Access to Education, Training, Science, Education: Pathway to Decent Work for Women.

To mark the centennial, the Women’s Resource Center is hosting a weekly film series that highlights the myriad ways education positively affects the lives of girls around the world. Tonight’s film, showing at 6:30 p.m., will be Very Young Girls, a documentary about American girls ensnared in the world of prostitution and who have successfully broken free of that world.

Carrie Preston, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of English, will lead a discussion after the film. Preston, who also teaches courses in women’s studies, says that the film “considers the experiences of child prostitutes here in the United States. We often seem to think that this country does not have such challenges, or that we face them well.” In fact, she says, “as the film exposes, young girls below the age of sexual consent are being charged with the crime of prostitution rather than treated as victims of criminal exploitation.”

Connie Ortiz (CGS’11), an active member of the WRC, and activism coordinator Sasha Goodfriend (CAS’14) organized the film series. “The visual representation seen in these documentaries,” says Goodfriend, “shows that the lives of girls around the world can be empowered through education.”

The completely student-run WRC is a space for studying, discussion, meetings, and events pertaining to women’s issues. The center also has a lending library for students as well as information about women’s health, politics, and the GLBTQ community.

“This film series is yet another remarkable program offered by that dynamite group at the Women’s Resource Center, which is actively changing understandings of gender and sexuality at BU for the better,” says Preston.

A free, home-cooked meal will be served at every film screening. You can also purchase raffle tickets for gift certificates to Blue State Coffee or Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant, with the money raised being donated to Concern Worldwide, an international aid organization that fights poverty, hunger, and the effects of natural disasters, to rebuild girls’ schools in Haiti.

Very Young Girls will be shown tonight, February 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in BU Central in the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. The event is free and open to the public. Dinner and refreshments will be provided. Details on the film series are available on the Facebook event page.

Erin Thibeau can be reached at ethibeau@bu.edu.

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