(Aileen Perilla/ KnightNews)

A group of UCF graduate biology students will observe ‘A Day Without A Woman’ on Wednesday outside the biology building in support of gender equity.

“On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity,” according to the Women’s March website.

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‘A Day Without A Woman’ was inspired by other actions in the past few months, specifically the Day Without Immigrants.

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“Ideally the goal is to show how much of an impact women have in our everyday lives,” said Katrina Phillips, a Ph.D. student in the Marine Turtle Research Group at UCF.

The group of biology students, headed by Phillips, felt the need to take off a day from their regular researched-filled schedules to stand in solidarity with others around the country for supporting gender equity.

The group of students planned on showing support but didn’t decide to stand outside the biology building in unison until the Professor Pedro Francisco Quintana-Ascencio held his one-man protest in support of minorities and immigrants on Wednesday of last week.

“It’s important to do things like this and to not be complacent and remind others that this is an issue,” said Molly Grace, a Ph.D. student in the SPICE Lab at UCF. “Even if it’s not affecting or set you back personally.”

Alicia Huber, a master’s student in the Urban Ecology Lab, spoke about an instance where a male faculty member stated the inconvenience for a female graduate student to get pregnant and have children during her graduate studies and that they should have planned better.

“I still notice, higher in the field, a huge ratio difference between men and woman. There are still legacy attitude differences between men and women,” said Huber. “It’s those kinds of mentalities that disproportionally affect women.
Especially in academia, which women having are having to choose between having a family and career.”

“It’s getting better but it’s not going away,” said Huber.
The women’s movement came into effect largely in response to the Trump campaign’s controversial rhetoric.

“What he seems to represent has spurred a movement that we hope will benefit who are being discriminated against by his comments,” said Ariel Horner, a master’s student in the biology department. “I feel like we hit rock bottom and this is the moment where everyone comes together.”

“I think it’s possible for someone to support Trump and disagree with the way he talks about women,” said Philips, when asked about President Trump’s past behavior involving women. “I encourage everyone, regardless of party, to speak up in support of gender equity.”

The group can be spotted outside the biology building wearing red, the color to show support for the cause, with handmade signs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

The group has followed the actions listed on the Woman’s March website:
1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
3. Wear RED in solidarity with ‘A Day Without A Woman’