Section 6 - Women's Rights - Rape/Violence & Other

Rape/Violence

"That VUWSA believes that rape is deliberate act of violence against women rather than an act motivated by sexual desire.  VUWSA believes that the fear of rape and the act of rape itself is often used by men to constantly limit women's freedom.  Furthermore VUWSA recognises that the fear of rape is a constant fear to all women and that even the presence of a man can generate the fear of rape.  VUWSA believes that women should have freedom of dress and action without it being construed as provocation of rape."

"VUWSA recognises that rape is a deliberate act of sexual violence (unrelated to sexual desire) and a tool which all men have the power to use, consciously and unconsciously, to keep all women in a state of fear and believe the fear of rape and the act of rape itself seriously restricts women's freedom and control of their lives.  VUWSA further believes women should have freedom of dress and action (including sexual activity) without it being construed as provocation of rape."

"That VUWSA condemns the provision in the present rape laws by which a defendant can be acquitted on the grounds that he held an honest or mere indifference, regardless of whether reasonable or not, that the raped women consented.  VUWSA believes this has the effect of the raped women being considered "not innocent" until the rapist is proven guilty."

"That VUWSA recognise the sexist attitudes and economic pressures often force women to stay in relationships which are oppressive and violent."

"That VUWSA recognise the need for women's refuges giving support to women leaving domestic situations and urges the government to allocate funds to support these refuges and that VUWSA write a letter to the government so urging."

"VUWSA pledges active support to the Rape Crisis Centres, Women's Refuge Centres and other feminist orientated women's centres."

"That VUWSA believes that it is the Government's responsibility to fully fund feminist orientated Rape Crisis Centres while respecting their autonomy."

"That VUWSA condemns the present requirements placed on the prosecution in rape trials to prove rape (i.e.; that the defendant held an honest belief or mere inference, regardless of whether reasonably or not, that the raped women consented) as it has the effect of the raped women being "not innocent" until the rapist is proven guilty."

"That VUWSA believes that there is a need for increased professionalism as prescribed by the Police Act during rape trials on the part of the prosecuting team (namely the Police), so that they actively oppose infringement of witnesses/the raped women's rights.  VUWSA further believes that a women's past sexual experiences (including any with the rapist) should not be admissible evidence."

"That VUWSA believes the Government should fully support and fund Maori Rape Crisis Groups generally."

"That VUWSA fully supports the call by Rape -Crisis, Incest Survivors and Anti-Violence groups for there to be an extensive education campaign throughout the education system aimed at attacking the "rape culture"."

"VUWSA condemns attacks on women and young girls in the form of sexual molestation and intra-family rape incest, and believes these stem from and perpetrate the oppression of women in our society."

"VUWSA believes that the legal definition of rape of a woman or girl should be;

Penetration of vagina or anus of a woman or a girl by a foreign object against her will.

Sexual intercourse with a woman or girl against her will.

Penetration of a woman or girls mouth or anus by a penis against her will.

A married women being forced against her will to have sex with her husband."

VUWSA believes that consideration should be given to the fact that force my constitute threats or mental/physical intimidation or coercion and not necessarily involve physical violence.

VUWSA further believes that a woman's past sexual experience should not be admissible evidence in a rape trial."

"VUWSA recognises that rape is a tool through which men keep women in a state of fear and believes that the fear of rape itself seriously affects women's freedom and control of their lives.  VUWSA further believes that women should have freedom of dress and action without it being construed as provocation of rape."

"That VUWSA recognises that in times of economic crisis Government attacks on women's rights increase.  The cumulative effect of these attacks is to deny women their right to full-time paid employment.  Keeping women out of the workforce has many advantages for the Government.  For example, it hides the real extent of unemployment; uses women to provide socially necessary services such as childcare and housework for which the state would otherwise have to pay; it makes women scapegoats for No's economic problems and accentuates sexism while manipulating women's lives to suit the economic climate."

Other

"That VUWSA believes that a women's room is necessary for the wellbeing of women on campus, and as a means whereby affirmative action is implemented supports the establishment of one wholeheartedly."

"VUWSA believes women should have complete control over their bodies, in particular in the areas of reproduction, fertility and women's health.  Therefore VUWSA believes information relevant to women's health should be more readily accessible to enable women to understand and make informed choices about their health."

"That VUWSA recommends that each constituent Student's Association elect or appoint at least one woman delegate to the Women's Action Collective meetings."

"VUWSA urges all universities to have women counsellors and doctors in recognition of the fact that women students face problems particular to women."

"VUWSA believes that work done in the house should be recognised as productive work and in recognition encourages moves towards adequate recompense for such work."

"VUWSA applauds the Government for its "Girl/Women can do anything" campaign and urges that affirmative action is an ongoing and high priority campaign in the workplace, in Government departments and in all institutions."

"That VUWSA believes the Government should fund compulsory self-defence (Sue Lytollis mode) courses for girls in schools as an essential way to teach women self assertion and non-victim skills."

"That VUWSA deplores the practise of genital mutilation and believe it to be a gross violation of a women's right to control her own body.  Further VUWSA recognises that genital mutilation is a feature of international misogyny that crosses cultural boundaries."

"VUWSA further condemns cultural practises such as foot binding (China), sutee (India), cliterodectomies (Africa), female infanticide (China) and dowry murders (India) as examples, past and present, of the patriarchy controlling, limiting, abusing and/or murdering women."

"VUWSA supports the outlawing of any material which incites sexual hatred against women in line with Women Against Pornography's present campaign to amend the Human Rights Commission Act."

"VUWSA believes that pornography and sexist advertising degrades all women by depicting them as sex objects encouraging sexist attitudes, and promotes violence against women.  Further that pornography blatantly exploits women for men's sexual pleasure and for capitalist profit."

"VUWSA calls upon the Government to establish an all-woman licensing board which would have the power to classify all videos available in Aotearoa and which would have the power to ban all pornographic/women hating videos.  VUWSA believes that women are the most appropriate people to judge whether or not a video is women hating/pornographic."

"VUWSA supports the Working Women's Charter, congratulating the FOL and all affiliated unions on their adoption of it and urge speedy implementation of the Charter."

"VUWSA supports the Trade Unions, women in the Trade Union movement and any other groups in their efforts to gain women's full effective involvement within the Trade Union movement."

"VUWSA recognises the particular problems of women returning to study after raising families and urge the Universities to actively assist them."

"VUWSA believes women receiving the DPB have the right to enter into any relationship without affecting their entitlement to the benefit.  Therefore SRC deplores the Social Security Amendment (no 2) Act.

NOTES:  The Act alters the definition of a de facto relationship from "living together on a domestic basis" to "husband and wife (who) not being legally married enter into a relationship in the nature of a marriage."

"That this SRC endorses the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure proposed by the working party which is similar to procedure adopted by other campuses."

"That this SRC oppose amendments to the proposed Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure which are:

Insertion of the reasonable person test into the definition or elsewhere.

Alterations to procedure for hearing a case which would mean the alleged harasser would be present throughout hearing of evidence against them."

"That this SRC condemn the unnecessary delays that have occurred in the setting up of the Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure at this campus."

"That VUWSA adopt the following policy on the function of Women's Action Collective within NZUSA:

The Women's Action Collection be replaced with the Women's Rights Commission consisting of the constituent Women Vice Presidents, Women's Rights Officers or a suitable women delegate.

The Women's Rights Commission be constitutionally entrenched.

The role of Women's Rights Commission being to:

promote the representation of women at national level

represent women's interests in all issues of general concern to students, especially education and welfare

address issues that are of particular concern to women students

co-ordinate such campaigns as are necessary to fulfil this role

The Women's Rights Commission to meet for one day immediately preceding February workshops, May and August Councils, the purpose of this meeting being to address:

upcoming issues/campaigns of relevance to women students

upcoming workshops at Council and their relevance to women

finalise workshops to be run by the Women's Rights Commission at Council

     5.    The Women's Rights Commission to present a written report to final plenary for acceptance, time being specifically allocated in the agenda for this.

"That this SRC approves $300 being spent on a woman attending the Dunedin Women's Conference."

“That this Association expresses its regret at the closing of the Women’s Room at Waikato University, and that it condemns the Executive of WSU for the way in which the decision to close the room was made.”