Women’s issues should be everybody’s issues, I guess that’s been my tagline this election. You’ll see it in my manifesto, my Facebook page and be sick of hearing me say it by mid march. That’s because I wholeheartedly believe that ensuring women’s rights, at home and across the world, to education, safety and freedom of speech are the most important issues society must tackle today. My manifesto outlines how I want to instigate these ideas from a grassroots level. I want the Women’s Campaign to be more visible on campus so that women’s issues are at the forefront of everybody’s minds and women’s voices are as loud as ever. I will begin this by mapping sexual harassment on campus so that students awareness of sexual harassment and assault increases at the University of Manchester. For my second manifesto policy, I already have some great ideas lined up for the Workshops for Women, such as bringing in Cecelia Knapp from the London Roundhouse Poetry Collective to nurture Manchester’s talent and referee a poetry slam. I want our Workshops to build a community for students where we can socialise as well as transfer skills. I want the Women’s Issues Database I will set up to be easily accessible for all Manchester students, an archive of women’s issues material so that anybody with any level of interest in women’s issues can find something of interest to them. I want to lobby Manchester Police and ensure that they are not preserving, consciously or unconsciously, messages of slut-shaming or victim-blaming in student areas such as Fallowfield or Withington as I have previously witnessed.
A lot of students ask me isn’t feminism over? Don’t women have equal rights? Yes, granted most of you reading this are very lucky. We live in Britain and have generally experienced equal rights to education, healthcare and bank accounts. We’re allowed to leave the house past dusk and we have the right to wear what we want. Yet women on our campus and across our city are still relentlessly treated as second class citizens. We at the University of Manchester must work to ensure women on our campus from all walks of life, as well as those across the world struggling with issues very different from ours, are treated equally.
My involvement in the Union amounts to the fact I work there, that is how my interest in running for the Exec Team began. I still feel however that I have the outside perspective that the Union needs. I see the Union from the point of view of students that aren’t involved and will be able to attract those students to get stuck in. Although the Union is a political body, the career politicians shouldn’t scare so many students off. The Students Union should be about the student community just as much as it is politics.