International Gender Equality Movement hosts 5K raising money for female empowerment campaign
April 24, 2016
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Northwestern’s International Gender Equality Movement hosted its first 5K run Sunday morning to raise money for educational programs that aim to empower teenage girls in India.
The race had roughly 55 participants and raised over $1,500, said Weinberg freshman Liana Tellez, iGEM’s social chair and wellness chair. The 5K was part of a worldwide effort in partnership with Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign to empower and engage girls within their communities.
“There’s a great amount of girls in India who drop out of school before the age of 18 and their only option is to get married, and they’re often forced into it,” Tellez said. “Girl Up is raising money to put them into educational programs and get the money to start their own bank accounts so that they can start a life of their own.”
IGEM is a student group that works to advocate for the education, leadership and well-being of girls in Evanston and Chicago, in addition to girls in developing countries and their communities. SESP junior Arielle Ticho, iGEM co-chair, said the race was successfully in educating the NU and Evanston communities on the work the group does.
Ticho said a large portion of the money raised came from registration fees, but participants were also encouraged to raise money and donate to the fundraiser.
Weinberg freshman Elise Wu, who helped with the setup of the event, said she joined iGEM to continue her interest in promoting feminism. She said one of the most memorable parts of the race was seeing girls from Evanston Township High School participate in the 5K.
“Everyone was very energetic and involved with the event, and the weather was beautiful,” Wu said.
All participants were given a medal for participation and the top six winners received grand prizes, which Ticho said included two three-month passes to LA Fitness, a $50 gift card to Sketchbook Brewing Co., and a $25 gift card to Lyfe Kitchen.
Wu, who went to an all-girls high school, said she has always found it important to promote feminism, because gender inequality is such a widespread issue.
“It’s really important to impact the community around us, and that’s what I love most about iGEM,” Wu said.