Women of the Future established at Missouri Western

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Women of the Future (WTF) looks to create an eye-catching campaign to promote women’s equality at Missouri Western.

WTF originator Madeline Marx is eager to get students’ support of a strong communal support system for the women of Western.

“As a women’s equality and advocacy group, we are trying to establish a presence on our campus which doesn’t have a lot of female-oriented organizations. We do have sororities at Western, but we want this to be a cost-free membership that is open and comfortable to everyone that wants to be involved,” Marx said.

WTF will be an organization dedicated to improving the social, emotional, physical and economical aspects of gender equality.

“We want to promote the overall appearance of women on campus and really ask ‘what does a woman look like?’ We need to make people aware that there is more than one type of woman, just like there is more than one type of career,” Marx said.

A common platform discussed in women’s advocacy groups is the gender pay gap. According to the United States Department of Labor, the average male will earn approximately $1,800 more over the course of a year than a woman working under the same conditions.

“The fact that women don’t even have equal pay is enough to have a club like this on campus,” Marx said.

In addition to campaigning for economic equality, WTF will also play a role in prevention of sexual assault and campus violence.

“In addition to being an advocacy group, I would like this to be a generally pleasant place for women to feel safe and speak up if something [violent] happens on campus. For example, what happened at Northwest [Missouri State University] a few months ago. We as a university haven’t had much of a response to that. We have had events like the stiletto stomp, but I don’t think people are as aware of some of the things going on.  I think if we had an actual club that was just focused on that, then we would get a lot more awareness out of it,” Marx said.

Although the group is a women’s advocacy group, Marx wants to clarify that the group is open to all Western students, as well as the general public.

“I would call this a feminist group and I don’t think there is any shame in saying that, as long as people have a clear understanding of what feminism actually is. Feminism just equates to equality. I mostly think of feminism as men and women, of all ages and all races, coming together and deciding what is right. We all have mothers, we all have sisters – we need to make sure everyone is receiving the same treatment,” Marx said.

Marx was pleased to see that approximately 25 percent of students wanting to become involved with the organization were male students looking to improve women’s equality at Western.

With the recent approval and funding from the Student Government Association, WTF plans to do a majority of their work starting in the fall of 2015. For more information on Women of the Future, email Madeline Marx at mmarx@missouriwestern.edu.

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