Why do we affiliate to external organisations?
The Women's Union recognises that the problems faced by women in Cambridge are not unique to Cambridge, but unfortunately symptomatic of the wider world. By supporting local and national organisations that are working for change, we not only place ourselves within the context of the wider struggle, but learn a great deal and acquire some much needed resources along the way. All of the current organisations have been supported for many years and each year the members of women's council vote either to renew or reject another year's affiliation.
There are, of course, hundreds of worthy organisations that we could support, but our cash is very limited. However, we have supported other organisations like Women's Aid, Cambridge Rape Crisis and Amnesty International UK through other fundraising activity, even though they aren't organisations that we affiliate to directly.
...and who do we affiliate to?
Eating Disorder's Association
The Fawcett Society
NUS Women's Campaign
The Women's Library
Abortion Rights UK
If you are looking for information and support to make a decision about an uplanned pregnancy, go to the CUSU Welfare page on pregnancy: http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/ welfare/pregnancy/
Abortion Rights UK was formed by the merger of the National Abortion Campaign and the Abortion Law Reform Association, but continues to fight for a woman's right to choose. The Women's Union has been affiliated to Abortion Rights since the mid 1990s and has itself battled against verbal assault and derision to maintain its stance of being 'Pro Choice and Proud of It'.
Many people think that women in Britain have the right to abortion on request, but that is not the case at all. Access to abortion in the UK remains a 'postcode' lottery, with waiting lists for NHS abortions and the number of abortions being provided on the NHS varying wildly with area. A woman's right to access abortion remains in the hand of the medical establishment, as two doctors must give their consent for the termination to go ahead. The decision to have an abortion is rarely an easy one, but many women in Britain face the trauma of paying approximately 500 for a private termination because they cannot face the distance they are asked to travel by the NHS or the time that they have to wait. A third of British women will have an abortion in their lifetimes, but the taboo surrounding the operation remains enormous and funding levels remain low.
To find out more about Abortion Rights UK see www.abortionrights.org.uk
Eating Disorders Association
The Eating Disorders Association strives to improve the quality of life for people affected by eating disorders. It aims to be proactive in meeting the needs of those with eating disorders and their carers. It also hopes to be successful in influencing policy in promoting understanding of eating disorders.
- to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding of eating disorders and EDA
- to provide information, help and support to all those affected by these illnesses
- to campaign for continually improved standards and availability of treatment and care for people with eating disorders
The Fawcett Society
Fawcett is the UK's leading campaigner for equality between women and men. Fawcett traces its roots back to 1866, when Millicent Garrett Fawcett began her lifetime's work leading the peaceful campaign for women's votes. Fawcett's vision is of a society in which women and men enjoy equality at work, at home and in public life.
The organisation campaigns on women's representation in politics and public life; pay, pensions and poverty; valuing caring work; and the treatment of women in the justice system.
As a result it makes a real differences in women's lives by creating awareness, leading debate and driving change. Our lobbying power means we have real influence right at the top of UK politics and among those who make decisions.
Successes range from a change in the law to allow political parties to use all-women shortlists to increase the number of women MPs, to reform of the rape law, to a new duty on public bodies to promote equality between women and men.
Download Fawcett's report into women and the criminal justice system - The Justice and Equality report
NUS Women's Campaign
The NUS Womens Campaign is an autonomous campaign working within the NUS to support the work of women's campaigns in individual student unions across the country and ensure that the NUS makes women's issues a central priority. The NUS Women's Officer is elected at the NUS Women's Conference every year along with the part time members of the NUS Women's Campaign. Although the Women's Union is far more developed than most other university-based women's campaigns, the NUS Women's Campaign can provide a much needed network so that women's officers across the country can share their experiences and organise on a national level.
NUS Women's Conference is attended by Women's Officers from all over the UK and by women who are involved in particular political 'factions'. At conference the policy for the women's campaign as a whole is discussed and debated. The main priority campaign for the last two years has been 'Pro Choice and Proud of It' but NUS Women's has recently launched a campaign called 'Just the Job', which aims to encourage women to join trade unions, be aware of their emplyment rights, and work to erase the pay gap.
Click here to download the NUS Women's Conference Observer's Report
For more information on the campaign see the NUS Women's website
The Women's Library
The Women's Library is a cultural centre, housing the most extensive collection of women's history in the UK. With over 60,000 books and pamphlets, 2,500 periodical titles, 400 archive collections and 5,000 museum objects covering issues from health, sexuality and popular culture to politics, history and human rights, there is a wealth of material here and access is free for everyone. As well as the resources for research in the Reading Room there is a lively exhibition and events programme, and a space to relax in the Wash Houses Caf. Whether you want to study, browse, or just drop in, there is something for everybody to discover here.
Learn more about the collection and their events at www.londonmet.ac.uk/thewomenslibrary