RESOLUTIONS RATIFIED AT THE NCWGB CONFERENCE 2018 IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE.
COMPREHENSIVE RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX EDUCATION TO REDUCE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (2018)
NCW is aware that all English secondary schools will be required to teach Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) from September 2019. ‘Can Education Stop Abuse?’, the recent paper published by GenPol, links ‘comprehensive and quality sexuality education’ to a decrease in gender-based violence. Therefore NCW, in Conference assembled, urges the government to include in the new statutory guidance for RSE, which has not been updated since 2000, topics and teaching practices recommended by UNESCO, IPPF and the European Parliament FEMM as ‘essential’ for ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)’. In doing so, the government will provide better education to ensure the sexual safety and wellbeing of future students and indirectly decrease gendered violence by tackling the power dynamics at the root of gendered abuse.
Lessons should cover physiosocial and relational aspects as well as biological. They should comprehensively include topics such as:
Challenging violence-inducing gender stereotypes and toxic models of masculinity
Abusive relationships, identifying that abuse can be sexual, economic, psychological, verbal, emotional
Gender-based violence, such as FGM
Online issues such as revenge porn, grooming, the risks of sharing explicit images online, and the unrealistic and often violent presentations of sex in pornography
Challenging common myths which lack scientific basis
Sexual safety and relationships of marginalised groups, such as LGBT+ and disabled people
To ensure these lessons are effectively taught, the government should consider implementing or supporting measures which have been shown to produce effective RSE teaching, such as:
Teaching without influence from religious beliefs or personal views
Involvement of specialised and factual external factors such as NGOs
Specifically-trained teachers, whether these be representatives from NGOs or specially trained school teachers. Content consistently delivered to learners over time, rather than a one-off lesson/intervention.
Submitted by: NCW Post 18 Group
THAT THE HOME OFFICE MUST UNDERTAKE A STATUTORY CONSULTATION IN RELATION TO HISTORIAL SOLICITING OFFENCES AND THE PERMANENT MARKING OF DISCLOSURE AND BARRING SERVICE (DBS) RECORDS (2018)
NCW in Conference assembled urges the Home Office to undertake a statutory consultation in relation to historical soliciting offences and the permanent marking of disclosure and barring service (DBS) records.
Even if a person is active in prostitution for a very short period, possibly vulnerable or coerced, a conviction for soliciting can have lifelong detrimental effects. This is because the offence permanently marks Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) records and must be disclosed to employers and authorities. It does not take much imagination to perceive how a person’s career, finances, housing, relationships, health and wellbeing could be negatively impacted by this state of affairs, effectively eliminating any realistic hopes of exiting prostitution.
Submitted by: The Josephine Butler Society, NCW Associate, and The Salvation Army
MINISTER FOR WOMEN AND EQUALITIES (2018)
The National Council of Women in Conference assembled, urges her Majesty’s government to include the Minister for Women and Equalities in the Cabinet office, supported by the Government Equalities office. This increases the possibility that equality underlines all Cabinet decisions and enables more appropriate contact for organisations such as NCW to further their aims.
The policy functions for women and equalities has since 1997 been located in 8 different departments leading to a lack of overall strategy. Further communication with leading women’s organisations has been extremely difficult which means that women’s voices are not being heard at the highest levels of government. It should be noted that the UN called on member states to establish machinery to represent women and that there has been a failure to do this effectively in the United Kingdom.
Submitted by: Gwenda Nicholas, Immediate Past President
ADDRESSING THE ISSUES FACED BY WIDOWS AND CHILD WIDOWS (2018)
The National Council of Women, in Conference assembled, being concerned that Child Widows are not included, protected or supported under any human rights instruments including CEDAW, the CRC and the Beijing Platform for Action, urges HM Government, The Women and Equalities Committee and the UK Mission to the United Nations to:
Establish mandatory birth and marriage registrations, bringing child widows to the forefront of international statistics and discourses.
Ensure that reliable and consistent data is collected locally and nationally, analysed and made accessible to the public so that progress can be measured. It is imperative that data disaggregated by marital status and age is gathered to enable targeted protection policies.
Empower women and girls through education, skills training and the formation of women’s/widows’ groups, encouraging them to speak up for their rights, transforming mindsets and behaviours.
Support child widows to reintegrate in society, whether it be through returning to education, or supporting a young mother to claim her land and custody rights.
Submitted by: NCW Individual members within the post 18 team
IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC IN PRIMARY/JUNIOR SCHOOLS (2018)
NCW in conference assembled, concerned by the increasing reliance on League Tables – results the only mantra – urges HMG to review and encourage the teaching of creative subjects, especially music in primary and junior schools.
- Subjects such as music and art are being squeezed out by pressure to reach Sats targets and climb League Tables.
- Impressive results have been shown in a primary school in Bradford which uses the Kodaly method of teaching.
- Music is about working together- listening to others, taking turns, giving way… whereas games encourage competition, aggression and goals.
- Music can release children from the grind of tables, spellings, dates etc and encourage self-expression.
- Music can help the non -academic to shine, boosting self- esteem, which can carry over to other subjects
Submitted by: Gwyneth Miller, NCW Individual Member