Sunday, 24 November 2013

Act Now! Women's rights are at stake!


Update on: Sex segregation in Universities 

The Independent carried a disturbing report that the National Union of Students and the UCU lecturers union have "backed" the policy to allow segregation of the sexes:

The document won approval from both lecturers’ leaders and students yesterday - with the National Union of Students saying it had been involved in detailed discussions with Universities UK about drawing up guidance.

Colum McGuire, vice-president of the NUS, said: “NUS has very clear guidance for students’ unions and societies on external speakers.  We encourage our members to follow this to assess the risk of all speakers to determine the action they should taker to protect students and keep them safe.

“We fully support UUK guidance and worked with them to advise on best practice in these matters.”
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, added: “Freedom of speech is a key tent of any democracy and one of the fundamental principles of a university. However, universities also have a responsibility to all their staff and students and must ensure that controversial speakers do not also bring with them any risk to the university or wider community.”

The time has come to act!
* There will be a protest at Universities UK offices in London on 10 December 2013, International Human Rights Day, to oppose sex segregation. You can join Facebook Events Page here.
* Teams of Sex Apartheid Busters are being organised to break segregation wherever it is instituted. To join, email
National Secular Society Meeting
Saturday 7 December 2–6pmConway Hall, London
On 7 December the NSS will be hosting a half-day conference to discuss secularism and feminism, and the relationship between the two causes.
Throughout the world, religion is the primary defence used in sustaining misogynistic laws and norms and in perpetuating the control and subservience of women. From the Vatican's attacks on reproductive rights and autonomy, to the use of Islam in the Middle East and North Africa to justify the most appalling oppression and violence – it is clear that secularism is vital in the fight for women's empowerment and equality.
In the UK, the advancement of secular thought has pushed back much religious misogyny and created safe spaces for women and protected our rights; but is the importance of secularism in the fight for women's rights fully appreciated?
The event will be chaired by Anne Marie Waters and speakers at the event will include Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters), Nahla Mahmood (Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain), Helen Palmer (Central London Humanists), Helen Nicholls (Lawyers Secular Society), Yasmin Rehman (The Muslim Institute) and Julie Bindel (Justice for Women).
The conference will take place from 2pm – 6pm at Conway Hall in central London. It will be followed by an evening of comedy as Terry Sanderson presents his film compilation show "Women laughing". Tickets for the conference are free (£5 for those who also wish to attend the evening event). Registration is essential. Please email to reserve your place, or contact the office.

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