Tag Archives: Women

International Women’s Day debate takes off at GCU

Rachel Russell and Emily Thomson led the discussion

Rachel Russell and Emily Thomson led the discussion

Following a scurrilous report in the Daily Telegraph which suggested that female students at Glasgow Caledonian  had been signing up to a sexploitation website, the GCU Association debating society decided to run a debate on this, on International Women’s Day, sponsored by the local UCU.

Featured by STV, the debate clearly struck a chord with students and staff alike. The students had extensively postered and union members leafleted in the morning –

IWD leafleting

Almost a thousand leaflets distributed in less than 30 minutes

although the union sponsored buffet at the debate (which soon disappeared) was perhaps an additional attraction…..

The session started with the replay of the brilliant video on International Womens Day in  Scotland

 produced last year by former GCU multimedia journalists Rachel Fulton and Aimee Beveridge.

Following the video,  Emily Thomson, Equalities Officer for the local UCU, led off the discussion by looking at the increased economic pressures on women including the incredible statistic that 74% of all recent cuts have specifically targeted women. Emily’s introduction can be heard here and her presentation can be downloaded from here

Rachel Russell first of all questioned the concept of ‘lifestyle’ placing it in the context of available choices including equality and sexual inequality. She pointed out the continuing inequality in terms of salaries between male and female graduates and then looked at the significance of sex work and what it was, before looking at the recent t-shirt controversy,


tshirt1and the gendered media discourse about women and sexuality including in the Daily Telegraph.

Rachel’s introduction can be heard here, and her presentation can be downloaded from here.

The event was filmed and access will be made available to the film as soon as it is processed.

Fair Pay on Campus Campaign

This Gender Pay gap needs to go

From ‘Jenna’ – a member of UCU at Glasgow Caledonian

The Equality Challenge Unit reports  that in 2011 the mean gender pay gap in UK HE was 20%…….

A colleague recently brought this article to my attention: The Fair Pay on Campus campaign aims to address the huge pay inequalities that exist between those at the top of the UKs HEIs and…well, the rest of us. Follow Jenna’s thoughts on the issue here

Make every day International Women’s Day says UCU at Glasgow Caledonian

UCU leaflets on International Womens Day

Leafleting on International Women's Day

Glasgow Caledonian University’s branch of the UCU celebrated International Women’s Day by releasing a new poster (downloadable here), and a new leaflet (downloadable here: side 1, side 2) pledging to fight for a better deal on casualisation and part time workers and to ensure women’s academic work is given equal value to the work of male academics. The leaflet also pledged to end the penalisation of women’s research and career prospects brought about by enforced career breaks through maternity leave. Pointing out that due to the work of Trade Unionists over the years at Glasgow Caledonian,  GCU’s position in terms of structure and promotion for women is better than average in the HE sector, the leaflet goes on to argue it could be better still in many areas. Interestingly it appears that the majority of the UCU membership at GCU are women.
Staff and students were leafleted in the morning and at lunchtime while a message of support was sent to a victimised EIS/FELA colleague at Angus College, suspended for complaining about the sexist nature of the college’s IWD celebration.
Meanwhile, the unions represented on this caledonianunion blog would like to congratulate the work done by postgraduate Journalism students at GCU commemorating International Women’s Day with students and union members featured. You can catch this 7 minute video here – it’s brilliant.