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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 15. 1972

The Position of Women

The Position of Women

At the Woman's Liberation meeting on Monday 19th June, it was decided to undertake a survey of the exact position of women in Victoria University, with the aim, naturally, of improving it. We also want to work towards the introduction of a Woman's Study course, a course which has been very successful in other countries.

We expect to find that women occupy very few of the higher administrative or staff positions, and that there are much smaller proportions of women to men students (which is common knowledge). The situation for those women who service the University - librarians, typists, cleaners, cafeteria workers and so on is just as important as the staff and students.

A preliminary review of the 1972 Calendar showed no women officers or councillors, proportions of approximately 1:26 on the committees and 1:4 on the staff. The proportion of women students is believed to be about a third. Predictably, both staff and students seem to be concentrated in the Arts.

When we have this information and the reasons for the situation - how much is real discrimination and how much is unwillingness on the part of the women themselves to assume greater responsibilities - we shall use it to bring pressure on the University to eliminate all the barriers it can that stand in the way of women doing exactly what they want to do, and we shall actively encourage women to apply for higher positions, to overcome their fear, and we shall go out into the high schools to urge girls to enter the fields they really want to - whether it be the traditional arts course, or science, law or politics. The ideal proportions would be 1:1 in every field. It can be done. Mona Williams told of a similar undertaking in her American college where the proportion of women to men in the medical faculty was raised from 12% to 58%.

Of course, this is only a very small beginning in the struggle for woman to gain independence. We hope to work through other institutions in practical ways also, until the only barriers left are individual personality ones.

A Woman's Liberation meeting is held every Monday at 7.45 In the Lounge. All women are welcome.