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Daisy Day educates about women’s rights

By Shaudee Navid

March 4, 2004 9:00 p.m.

Florence Nightingale established the first science-based nursing
school in London in 1860 to make nursing a respectable profession
for women. Today, a woman can ultimately hold any position in the
workforce from doctor to mechanic and firefighter.

The 97th annual International Women’s Day, taking place
March 8, commemorates the economic, social, cultural and political
achievements of women worldwide. In celebration, UCLA students
will hold their yearly program ““ Daisy Day ““ today to
remind students how far women’s rights have progressed.

Coordinated by over 20 people and driven with the help of 60
volunteers, this student-run program is funded by the Office of
Residential Life and On Campus Housing Council.

Student volunteers will be tabling all across campus and on the
Hill, passing out daisies and literature to educate students on the
issue of women’s rights. Volunteers will also be informing
students of local resources to which they can turn.

The daisies, a symbol of freedom based on Greek mythology,
represent the daisies Persephone gathered at the time of her
abduction by Hades, god of the underworld.

Several students on campus agree that programs like this are
essential, as they tend to forget the struggles women once
experienced.

“It wasn’t always like this, and we take this for
granted, forgetting all the hardships women went through,”
said Eugenia Shevchenko, a first-year undeclared student.

This year’s theme, “Women in Times of
Conflict,” highlights notable women from all over the world
such as Cathy Freeman, the first woman to fly in a military
precision flying team, and Marie Curie, the first woman to win a
Noble Prize.

“In particular, this is a big issue because it is
something we forget about. “¦ It’s important to promote
it on a campus that focuses on academics and social life,”
said Allison Starr, co-coordinator and fourth-year history and
classical civilizations student.

Many other on-campus organizations such as the Center for Women
and Men and the UCLA Clothesline Project promote awareness
regarding issues in women’s rights year-round.

A strong advocate for women’s rights, Tina Oakland,
director of the Center for Women and Men, believes that there are
still a number of issues that need to be addressed in today’s
society from personal violence against women to women progressing
and advancing in the workplace.

“I would love to see personal violence particularly
against women changed, that is why we encourage such projects.
“¦ People shouldn’t live in a place of fear,”
Oakland said.

Daisy Day has been a UCLA student-run tradition for five
years.  Last year volunteers handed out 3,700 daisies but ran
short of flowers midday. Their goal this year is to pass out 4,500
daisies and to extend the event until later in the afternoon.

“There is still a lot of work to do and we can’t be
complacent about issues of human and civil rights. “¦ All
these issues need to be addressed,” Oakland said. “When
everyone has an equal playing field it enhances the quality of life
for all of us.”

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