Women have their day at UC Merced

Sun-Star staffAugust 28, 2012 

— Women have come far in terms of equality, but there's still more work to be done, said Molly Bechtel, coordinator of women's programs at UC Merced.

The university celebrated women's lives and achievements Monday as part of its welcome week.

Earlier this month, the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote and resulted from the women's suffrage movement, marked its 92nd anniversary. "It's important, but it's not always talked about," Bechtel said.

This has been the first year that there has been an event on campus to celebrate women's achievements. The celebration has the added benefit of helping to inform students of other events that the program organizes throughout the semester, she said.

About 132 students took part in the event Monday. It consisted of activities that recognize women and a presentation about women's equality conducted by third-year student Kristina Calonge.

"It was a fun opportunity to say, 'Wow, women in history did a great work for us, and we want to honor that, celebrate it and also continue to work toward further equality,' " Bechtel said.

It's evident that work remains to be done to reach full equality, she said. For example, women are underrepresented in the political arena, such as in Congress.

The situation can be mirrored locally. This year, there's only one female in the UC Merced student government, Bechtel said, and last year, only four out of 16 student senators were women.

"We can see these big clear examples of where equality has not been reached," she said.

To see a list of events organized by the UC Merced Women's Programs, visit http://studentlife.ucmerced. edu/what-we-do/womens- programs.

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