Social media erupted this week as it was revealed that delegates at the NUS Women’s conference were asked to stop clapping and considering using jazz hands, instead as the former was triggering anxiety for some audience members.
Aside from this tweet, on an issue that was never up for debate, what about what was actually raised at the conference? Here are just some of the positive, empowering motions, all of which were passed.
The NUS Women’s campaign must promote, and make university regulatory bodies aware of the inequality faced by women in academia. Women’s valuable contributions to academia are ignored and they need to be recognised.
Campaigning for free education. The government should invest in free education as it is a public right that should be free for all to access.
To investigate and publicise the problem of sexism in academia and across UK universities.
The under-representation of women in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at UK universities must be addressed.
The publication of the austerity affecting women. Women are more likely than men to be stuck in low-paid, part-time jobs and faced with a higher risk of unemployment.
Everyone should be provided with a universal basic income and enough money to afford basic needs including feeding themselves, using public transport, buying clothing and the internet.
The introduction of legislation criminalising the purchase of sex and campaigning for the decriminalisation of sex work. An increasing number of students are turning to sex work to fund their degrees.
The need to raise awareness of the struggles faced by Palestinian women when obtaining an education, due to the illegal occupation of the West Bank and the siege on Gaza.
The need for the British public to be educated about female genital mutilation, and challenge the government on the law concerning FGM and the treatment of female asylum seekers fleeing it.
Racism faced by international students at UK universities must be brought to light.
Women’s officers need to challenge university management over issues such as sexual violence and sexual harassment.
Full time women’s officers at universities should not be discriminated against because of their gender.
The topic of female empowerment must be addressed across UK universities as societal structure means that women are under-represented in positions of power or authority.
Every student, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or religion have an equal right to a safe and positive university environment free from discrimination and prejudice.
Further investigations must be made into the problem of ‘lad culture’ in higher education, accelerated by online websites such as UniLad and Lad Bible.
The five per cent tax on sanitary products should be abolished, as they are a necessity, and not a “luxurious” product”, as is stated by the law.
Parents and carers in education should be entitled to subsidised childcare and care from the government.
The NUS Women’s Campaign must campaign for increased social housing and affordable housing, and encourage the lowering of rents.
Student unions must be encouraged to provide increased support for women with mental health issues at university and for students suffering from anxiety and stress..
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