Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) will tomorrow evening debate a motion on empowering women in the Club. The motion notes the lack of gender equality both in OULC committee positions and general attendance to club meetings. If it were passed, OULC would split the role of President into a Chair and a Deputy Chair, one of which would be held by a woman at all times.
The motion would introduce a quota of two women for committee positions. If no one who “self identifies partly or wholly as a woman or transfeminine” stood, a report would have to be produced and actions taken to increase participation amongst women.
“Overt anti-semitism [is] rife amongst certain elements at Oxford University”.
John Mann on Twitter
The motion comes at a time of increased scrutiny of both OULC and the Labour Party more generally. Before any motions are debated, John Mann MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, will address the club.
Earlier this year, Mann called for a full enquiry and suspension of OULC for allegations of racism, following the resignation of Club co-Chair Alex Chalmers in Hilary. Chalmers resigned claiming a large proportion of members “have some kind of problem with Jews”. As a result, OULC is currently under investigation by the Labour Party’s student national organisation.
Anti-Semitism will also be on the agenda during the General Meeting which follows Mann’s talk. After members have debated the motion on empowering women in OULC, a motion to condemn the “anti-Semitic remarks” made by NUS President Malia Bouattia and to call on her to resign will be discussed.
The motion further criticises the undemocratic nature of the NUS and suggests that OULC resolves to call for reform of the NUS.
The motion, proposed by ex-OULC Treasurer Louis McEvoy, follows widespread discontent concerning allegations of anti-semitism in the NUS. These concerns, amongst others, have resulted in a referendum on Oxford’s affiliation to the NUS to be held in 6th week.