Ethnic and Religious Minority Women
The Black and Asian Women's Officer, on the Women's Union Executive Committee, works to accommodate and support the growing numbers of ethnic minority women within the University through the Women's Union, and provides representation for black and asian women through campaigns and individual support. She works on the Women's Executive Committee and with women's officers throughout the colleges to support black and asian women dealing with the effects of sexism and racism.
Recent enquiries by the University have highlighted the problems for Black students in Cambridge, focusing primarily on admissions and academic performance. Combined with the findings of the 2002 JCAP report on women's academic performance, this has given the University a glimpse of the problems facing black and asian women in Cambridge.
However, the university and the union are making real progress and working towards a better future. The Women's Union is one of the organisations working to improve representation of ethnic minorities in Cambridge and also works within itself to serve and maintain our diverse and multicultural membership. We recognise that racism and sexism interact to create new types of disadvantages, and we are committed to fighting these inequalities in every way possible. Racism ties into sexism in each of the campaigns the Women's Union is coordinating. For example, the pay gap is especially harsh on women from ethnic minorities. As the Equality and Human Rights Commission states,
"There is a substantial full-time, hourly pay gap for women (16-59) from ALL ethnic groups relative to White men, and for all minority group men (16-64) except for Indian men. However, the average hourly pay gap for minority women (13 per cent) is almost three times as high as the average hourly pay gap for minority men (5 per cent)."
For more details about support and representation for ethnic minority women, you can see our website and also the CUSU Black Students Campaign webpage. Also feel free to contact the Black and Asian Women's Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July 2009, the Fawcett Society produced a new report highlighting the relationship between race and poverty.
Black Students' Campaign
The Black Students' Campaign (BSC) exists to voice the concerns, address the issues, cater to the needs of, and improve the educational and social environment for ethnic minority Students in Cambridge at both undergraduate and graduate level.
'Black' is an all-embracing term used to refer to all students of ethnic minority origin who by virtue of being non-white are likely to have a different experience from their counterparts.
Racism, even in this enlightened age, still exists and the Black Students' Campaign works hard to level the playing field. There are still a lot of areas that need much work and we see it as one of our main aims to convey the diversity and variety of 'Black' culture to all Cambridge students. It is through educating that we hope to eradicate the damaging stereotypes that have come to be associated with ethnic minorities.
The Campaign realises that the experiences of 'Black' women at Cambridge may be different to others, and in some cases negative. It is our job to ensure that your Cambridge experience is a positive one. If as an Ethnic minority student you feel you have been treated unfairly on racial grounds, The BSC should be one of your first ports of call and will take up your case if genuine. We also provide information on issues specific to ethnic minorities, so if you have a question email us at email@example.com. More information on our activities is available on the CUSU website or in our annual Freshers' Guide, The Little Black Book.
Fighting Against Fascism
Cambridge University Students' Union has policy which takes a strong stand against ideologies of hatred such as those espoused by fascist groups like the BNP. CUSU opposes the xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia which is displayed by fascist groups, and in the past has been involved in organising anti-fascism events such as the successful "Love Music Hate Racism" gig in February 2009. There will be more gigs, speaker events and campaigns in the future: contact womens [at] cusu.cam.ac.uk to find out more.