Defending the position of CUSU Women’s Officer

Is Cambridge University Institutionally Sexist?

30th October, Cambridge Union Society Sexism Debate:

This House Believes That Cambridge University is Institutionally Sexist


Natalie Szarek, CUSU Women’s Officer
Germaine Greer, Feminist Author and Critic, Fellow of Newnham


Hugo Hadlow, Chair of Cambridge University Conservative Association
Simon Baron Cohen, Expert on autism, author of “The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain”, Fellow of Trinity

Read Natalie’s speech (more or less…)

Overview and Update

In the first weeks of Lent term 2006, the position of Women’s Officer came under attack for the first time in years.
The changes proposed that the Women’s Sabb be replaced with a member of support staff who would do all non-representational work for the autonomous campaigns.
This suggestion was rejected by the autonomous campaigns and a very fraught week ensued for all involved with CUSU.

The motion to scrap the Women’s Officer was withdrawn by the proposers before it went to CUSU Council.

The Development and Planning Committee have since proposed various different models for the makeup of the autonomous campaigns as part of the CUSU restructuring, but it was overwhelmingly decided that the Women’s position was beneficial and should stay.


In order to make the process as transparent as possible, all correspondence sent by the Women’s Sabbatical Officer during this time can be found here, along with a model motion for defending women’s officers and the autonomous campaigns as a whole.