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Five Ideas: What we learnt at Women's Conference 2017

Thursday 30-03-2017 - 16:30

This week we welcomed delegates from across the student movement to our annual Women's Conference. The Conference saw three days of discussion, debate and voting as the political leadership for the year ahead was elected and motions were passed. Here's our top five highlights from #NUSwomen17 💪 

 

1. Who’ll be leading the Women’s Campaign for 2017-18

The votes are in and have been counted! We’re excited to announce that Hareem Ghani has been re-elected to serve a second term as NUS’ National Women’s Officer, with the National Executive Council Women’s Place going to Sarah Lasoye. Congratulations Hareem and Sarah, we look forward to working with you! Take a look at all of the elections results here.

 

2. Women, race and mental health is high up on the agenda

The Women’s Campaign is proud to launch the ‘Women, Race and Mental Health in the UK’ Briefing. Women of Colour have often been excluded from wider conversations on mental health and wellbeing, so this briefing aims to provide an overview of the complicated relationship between experience of mental illness and of societal discrimination and oppression. You can download the briefing here.

 

3. Motions that matter to the Women’s Campaign

When a room full of inspiring women come together they can pass some pretty amazing motions; eight to be precise. This year the following motions were made into live policy at Women’s Conference…

  • Welfare and Student Rights Zone – 101: Gendered Hate Crime, 102: Student Survivors Deserve Better, 103: Solidarity with Northern Irelands Abortion Crisis, 104: The Price of a Period, 105: Reproductive Justice.
  • Society and Citizenship Zone – 201: Securing and Institutional Wide Approach to Tackling Sexual Violence through Prevention and Support, 202: Raising Awareness of Gendered Islamophobia, 203: Support Migrant Reproductive Rights. 
  • Education Zone – 401: Campaign on Sexual Assault as Mitigating Circumstance.

You can read more about these motions here.

 

4. We need to take action on staff-student misconduct

The Women’s Campaign and the 1752 Group recently announced their ground-breaking research into sexual misconduct by university staff towards students. Tiffany Page from the 1752 Group spoke at the conference about narratives that stop people complaining about staff-student misconduct, the unequal power between staff and students - raising questions of consent, and what needs to change. You can find out more about this project and the survey here.

 

5. Supporting intersectionality and recognising the struggles of women in conflict

Plenaries were held on intersectionality and women in conflict. Our leading experts examined intersectionality in regards to disabled students and trans students, as well as reproductive justice and migrant rights. Our other key plenary panel explored Bosnian, Bangladeshi, Palestinian, Kashmiri women’s experiences under occupation. Both plenary sessions highlighted the gendered discrimination faced by women but recognised their strength, and identified what the movement can do to support.

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