The following motion was passed at NCAFC National Conference, 28-29 January 2012.
It will form the basis for NCAFC Women’s activity going forward from the conference – if you have ideas or comments please comment or get in touch as firstname.lastname@example.org
NCAFC conference believes that the gains made by women’s movements over the last five decades are under attack from the Tories’ dual agenda of cuts and reactionary moralism. In education, too, the Tories’ attacks will affect women disproportionately, from attacks on sex education, to higher student debt which women will take longer to pay off, to the gutting of subject areas where women students and workers are concentrated.
Student women have been at the forefront of the revival in feminist discussion and activism. There is an obvious, pressing need to build a strong student women’s movement. We think this movement should be based on the principles of anticapitalist feminism – organising women workers and students for self-liberation, to challenge the structural basis of women’s oppression under capitalism.
In that spirit, we will give our support to efforts to build NCAFC Women as a strong national campaign among women students and education workers.
NCAFC Women will base its work around a Charter for Women in Education, which we will seek to develop over the coming months. Some ideas for the kind of demands we want to include in this charter are included below. We will seek to make links with women activists in UCU, Unison, NUT and other education unions in this campaign.
We will also seek to make links with campus women’s groups, and help activists to build women’s groups where they don’t currently exist; campaign for a women’s officer, and other dedicated liberation officers, in every student union; and seek to build a left opposition in NUS Women’s Campaign, with the goal of transforming it into the kind of fighting campaign student women need.
Charter for Women in Education – some ideas
* A commitment to support all those fighting sex and gender discrimination in our universities, schools and colleges.
* Fight the funding cuts, which will effect subjects where women are concentrated. Fight for publicly owned universities with decent funding.
* Free education and a living grant for every student to eliminate student debt.
* Support workers’ fight to depend they pay, conditions and pensions – women will lose out worst from the Tory attacks.
* Defend and extend university and student union childcare provision.
* Defend sex education against the Tories’ reactionary moralistic agenda. Fight the religious take over of parts of our school system. Defend and extend sexual health and reproductive rights services on campus.
* Fight for safety on campus – for decent lighting and transport, stop the cuts to campus support workers.
* Eliminate poverty pay – a living wage for all workers on our campuses.
* A serious fight to make equal pay a reality in our universities and colleges.
* A woman’s place is in her union – no to sexism in our student unions. Campaign for a women’s officer and a full-range of liberation officers in every SU. Fight to scrap men’s officers wherever they exist.
* For a campaigning women’s group on every campus