WomCam recognises that the problems faced by women in Cambridge are not unique to Cambridge, but symptomatic of the wider world. As part of the constitution, we are mandated to support two organisations yearly. 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 much needed resources along the way.
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.
The organisations we are currently affiliated to are:
Abortion Rights UK
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’.
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. 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.
Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre
NUS Women’s Campaign
The NUS Women’s 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.
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 employment rights, and work to erase the pay gap.
For more information on the campaign see the NUS Women’s website