2001

Letter to Prime Minister conveying Council Resolution calling for a halt to bombing of Afghanistan (November 2001).  Click here to download letter

Petition to UN Secretary General, President and Vice-President of USA and US Secretary of State to have Afghan Women represented at the Negotiating Table (November 2001).  Click here to download letter

Letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs urging that Australia sign the optional Protocols to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (September 2001).  Click here to download letter

Letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs opposing Australia’s participation in an American National Missile Defence scheme (July 2001).  Click here to download letter

Letter to Minister for Justice and Customs conveying Council Resolution on Trafficking of Women (June 2001).  Click here to download letter

Council Resolution

On 27 October 2001 the following Resolution was passed unanimously at the Council meeting of AFUW:

This Council Meeting of the Australian Federation of University Women re-affirms its commitment to the furthering of world peace and the promotion of societies in which the human rights of all women, men and children are respected.

In the light of this commitment Council cannot accept that the current bombing of Afghanistan is a justified and proportionate response to the abhorrent acts of violence perpetrated in America on 11 September 2001.

The bombing campaign involves unacceptable civilian casualties and continues the destruction of the physical infrastructure of a country already reduced to desperate poverty.

It inflames political tensions in a volatile region, provokes demonstrations of racist intolerance and intensifies an already acute refugee problem.

Council calls for an immediate halt to the use of violent military strategies to combat violence. It urges all those involved to invoke the authority and resources of the United Nations to set up negotiations to establish a just and stable system of government in Afghanistan.

Council further insists that no permanent and just resolution can be found in any negotiations involving the future of Afghanistan unless Afghan women are active participants and partners in the process. Only if this condition is met can the women of Afghanistan begin to hope for a future in which they enjoy access to education and its benefits, access to health care, freedom of movement, and the right to full participation in public life.

Submission from the Australian Federation of University Women Inc. to the Senate Inquiry into the Capacity of the Public Universities to meet Australia’s Higher Education Needs.

AFUW submits that inadequate funding is severely impairing the universities’ capacity to fulfil its obligation to produce highly trained minds, skilled in extending the boundaries of knowledge beyond contemporary and contingent market demands; and able to analyse and articulate issues for the future as well as for the present. (See Introduction and sections a, e and g)

AFUW submits further that the public university system is the most appropriate place in which such public benefits (which are of far greater significance than any individual’s benefit) can be ensured. (See Section b) It follows that government must accept responsibility for the provision of adequate funding to sustain the public university system. While there will always be a proper and valued place for contributions from the private sector, these must not be allowed to over-ride the autonomy of the universities, or to exert undue influence on programs of teaching and research, or to draw undue private profit from the use of publicly-funded infrastructure. (See section b)

AFUW submits that inadequate funding is having deleterious effects on the quality and diversity of both teaching and research, through various factors such as poor staff morale, increased teaching and administrative workloads for staff at a time of increased demands for research productivity, overcrowding of classes, and stress on deteriorating infrastructure. Increasing dependence on external funding is tending to narrow both teaching and research activities. (See sections a and b)

In addition to shortage of funding, rapid changes in university management have produced internal tensions, especially over issues of freedom of information and academic freedom of speech. AFUW submits that many of the management problems affecting the performance of the university sector are a consequence of applying poor or inappropriate features of corporate management and governance. All these factors make it difficult for universities to attract and retain good staff. (See sections b, e and g)

Participation: equality of opportunity to participate in education is a pre-requisite of a just as well as a prosperous society. Measures must be taken to improve Indigenous participation. AFUW is concerned that the increasing expensiveness of education militates against improved participation of those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and may even reverse the growing participation of women. It is also concerned at the continuing under-representation of women in university staffing. (See section d).

Other matters of concern in this submission

  • The Place of Information Technology and the Virtual Universityin the Future of  Education;
  • The Position of General staff;
  • The role of TAFE in the higher education sector. Click here to download entire submission

Submission from the Australian Federation of University Women to the Senate Inquiry into Nursing Education

Australia’s health services require nurses whose training involves a constant balancing of up-to-date theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and social skills. This cannot be achieved without good nursing education. To ensure its achievement the Australian Federation of University Women recommends:

(a) That there must be improved funding from Federal and State sources in order

to sustain high quality education programs both in Schools of Nursing and in those hospitals and other institutions in which nursing is practised;

(b) That nurse education must prepare nurses to be socially aware of the difference cultural backgrounds of those for whom they provide health services. In particular, in view of the deplorable state of Indigenous health, AFUW recommends that the education of Indigenous nurses to serve their local communities should be a matter of high priority;

(c) that a system of an internship year, such as was once practised in the teaching profession, be instituted as a means of bridging the theoretical and practical aspects of nursing, and developing the experience of social diversity necessary for nurses in contemporary society. Such internships should be undertaken in constructive partnership with health industry agencies. Click here to download entire submission

Letter to Prime Minister urging that Australia sign the Optional Protocol to CEDAW  Click here to download file

Letter to Minister for Immigration re ending the incarceration of women and children asylum seekers in immigration detention  Click here to download file