Section 6 - Women's Rights - WRAC & Discrimination

WRAC

"That VUWSA believes that the position of WRAC Co-ordinator should be open to women only."

Discrimination

"That VUWSA opposes discrimination on the basis of race, culture, sex or sexuality."

"That this Association condemns sexist advertising and recognises that exploitation of the physical form of women in particular, inhibits recognition of women as full and equal human beings; and that the use of sexist advertising by this Association for the furtherance of any aims or goals of the Association is prohibited in the future."

"That VUWSA actively campaigns against sexist language in particular the use of the male pronoun when referring to both sexes and the unnecessary differentiation between men and women for example in the University Calendar."

"That this Students' Association adopts a policy of using non-sexist terminology, in particular, the use of chairperson instead of chairman."

"That VUWSA believes that since the rise of class society women have been discriminated against on the basis of their sex and that the eradication of sexual discrimination is an integral part of the struggle for the liberation of all oppressed people."

"That VUWSA support the Women's Action Group proposed outline for a National Conference of University Women and direct Victoria's delegates to raise the proposal at May Council."

"That $200 be donated to the Women Learning Weekend, the money to come from the SRC donations budget."

"That VUWSA recognise that prostitution is a manifestation of the attitude that women's bodies are to be treated and regarded merely as sexual chattels.  Further, VUWSA supports the decriminalisation of prostitution because in the present economic and social climate many women have no other alternative that VUWSA condemn those individuals or business interests that exploit and create a demand for prostitution and profit from the selling of women's bodies."

"That VUWSA condemns the recent hiring of a stripper by members of the J7 Rugby team to perform at a fund-raising function and further demands that the Rugby Club Sports Council deny the use of its facilities to promote sexist behaviour and calls for the Students' Association facilities not to be used for functions promoting sexist behaviour."

"That this Association donate $100 to the "Woman Against the Cuts" organisation in recognition of the valuable work the organisation is doing to highlight and build opposition to the effects the Government cutbacks are having and will have on women."

"That VUWSA defines sexual harassment as any unwanted sexual advances to women that by take verbal or physical forms.  Verbal harassment includes frequent sexual innuendoes, suggestive remarks, off-colour jokes, as well as persistent remarks about a woman's body.  Physical forms include constant leering or ogling to pinching, kissing, grabbing to rape."

"That VUWSA believes that the objectification and degradation of women that is represented in pornography results in and perpetrates violence about women, and further that pornography blatantly exploits women for men's sexual pleasure and for capitalist profit."

"That VUWSA recognise the particular problems facing lesbians on the basis of their sexuality and supports affirmative action taken by all groups working towards lesbian liberation."

"That VUWSA consistent with its policy of opposing violence against women condemns the engagement of the Birthday Party to play at this campus.  Furthermore this Association instructs the Executive, when engaging bands promoting films and organising other cultural events in the future, to scrutinise the content of these acts to ensure that they do not flagrantly violate Association policy of opposing sexism, racism and anti-lesbianism and gay bias."

"That this Association urges the adoption of the Working Women's Charter by the Federation of Labour seeing such a bill of rights for working women as being long overdue."

"VUWSA notes with concern that women are still under represented in nearly every profession and trade.  It urges that affirmative action and education are needed at all levels of the education sector to increase women's participation in society at all levels.  VUWSA further notes with concern that women's access to University is limited by a number of factor's that include:-

non-existent or inadequate childcare

inadequate bursaries/financial assistance

sex role stereotyping in primary and secondary education

societal attitudes about women's role

Thus women are underrepresented in overall student numbers, and particularly in medicine, engineering and architecture professions.  Women are also under represented in the high levels of university staff.

VUWSA demand the recognition of women's under representation, and that immediate steps by both the Government and the institutions involved to improve women's access to all education, and in particular to tertiary institutions."

"VUWSA recognises that Polynesian, Maori and women from other ethnic minorities in New Zealand face particular problems on the basis of their race and sex and supports any action to eradicate that discrimination."

"VUWSA recognises that overseas women students face particular difficulties and offers its support to them in their struggle against oppression."

"VUWSA recognises the fundamental importance of a women's rights to work and economic independence.  It further calls for the following:-

Equal Pay

VUWSA deplores any anomalies in the implementation of the Equal Pay Act such as Job reclassification.

VUWSA recognises that until such time as the Government enforces opportunities in employment, female students have special financial difficulties in attending university.

"That VUWSA recognises that women suffer oppression on the basis of their sex and that the struggle for the liberation of women is an integral part of the struggle for the liberation of all oppressed peoples.  Thus, VUWSA supports women's groups fighting for liberation."

"That VUWSA recognises that the word "sexism" is often misused.  Sexism does not only mean discrimination of one sex by another.  Sexism is also about the power of privilege as it is deployed through social, economic and political institutions.  Because these institutions are male created, male defined, and male controlled, men as a group have power over women.  Women organising together to fight against their oppression is not sexist as women do not have power over their oppressors.  Therefore to exclude men from women's group meetings, rooms, activities etc. or to organise Women's Officer positions in student bodies or departments is not sexist.  Further VUWSA recognises that sexism is related to racism and class oppression."

"VUWSA condemns the sexism and sex role stereotyping prevalent in our society which perpetuates the oppression of women."

"VUWSA recognises that the oppression of and discrimination against women in our society is an integral part of the overall economic exploitation inherent in the structure of our society."

"That in a conscious effort to fight sexism;

VUWSA adopts a policy of using non-sexist terminology and urges its constituents to do the same.

VUWSA urges student newspapers not to publish any sexist advertisements and articles and to publish material on women and the women's movement."

"VUWSA supports the introduction of non-sexist school readers into primary schools and the publication of other educational material throughout all educational levels that does not perpetuate sex-role stereotyping."