No one needs to tell feminist activists that the fight for women’s liberation has not been won. In Britain women make up 70% of recipients of the pathetically low minimum wage, we face cuts and privatisation in the public services so many of us rely on, domestic violence and rape aren’t taken seriously by a judicial system full of ancient male chauvinist judges and disinterested police, we still have to cast doubt on our own mental health to get an abortion, and we struggle to find high-quality affordable care for our children if we study or to work.
Internationally, the situation is no better. From imperialist war justified on a “feminist” pre-text in Afghanistan, to women struggling for their rights against both the occupation and the fundamentalist sectarian militias in Iraq, to Argentinian women taking on the Catholic establishment for the right to an abortion, our sisters all over the world are fighting back.
So why has the NUS Women’s Campaign done so little?
For many years, but particularly since its takeover by Labour Students four years ago, the Women’s Campaign has done hardly anything in the way of campaigning.
I am standing for NUS Women’s Officer because I want to change all this. To get a women’s campaign that fights, we need to kick out Labour Students and elect a socialist feminist as Women’s Officer.
I stand for:
• A Women’s Campaign that actually campaigns, and involves thousands of women students
• A serious effort to rebuild campaigning, political women’s groups on every campus
• Working with trade union women’s sections to organise a national demo for women’s liberation
• High profile campaigns, including direct action, on abortion rights and a living, equal wage
• Consistent international solidarity - with grassroots women’s, workers’ and student movements, not with NGOs and “progressive” governments
• Militant demands in the fight for free education: no fees, living non-means-tested grants for all, taxation of the rich and the reorganisation of our education system on the basis of democratic control and provision for need. And militant tactics: mass direct action, including occupations. NUS’s failure to organise a demo this year is a disgrace
• A Women’s Campaign that fights the Blairite leadership of NUS, and stands with workers and students fighting the Brown government.
Over the last eighteen months I have organised the two Feminist Fightback conferences, a national march for abortion rights, a speaker tour about the student and worker uprising in Oaxaca, the first occupation against top-up fees, and three Education Not for Sale gatherings; supporting women’s officers, reporting on the machinations of NUS executive, producing briefings about issues including education funding, NUS’s culture of waste, Further Education and ultra vires, and organising the campaign to defend NUS democracy.
I am the candidate of ENS Women, a socialist feminist group fighting to rebuild the women’s movement. See socialistfeminist.org.uk and free-education.org.uk
If you would like to get involved in my campaign, or find out more, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org