Centre would bring change

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: "Women’s centre not necessary," Oct. 9, 2003,

Jankovic admits men are still able to physically and emotionally dominate women, making women’s shelters still necessary. Is the campus somehow immune to this?

In my five years on campus I have read countless reports of stalkers, voyeurs, men exposing themselves and assault. A campus women’s centre would, for one, provide a safe place for women to collect themselves after any incident. Ideas of racism and sexism still exist within our society and only active education from institutions like a university women’s centre can eliminate such ideas.

The achievement of women’s rights in law, and a female Students’ Union President, may point to some victories but gender income inequality gives a lie to that "achievement." Additionally, Sustainable Calgary’s 2001 State of Our City surveyed 220 positions of influence within our government, corporations, community groups and media and found women in 34 per cent of leadership roles including 10 per cent of corporations and 46 per cent of nonprofits. Visible minorities held 5.9 per cent of leadership positions while aboriginals held 0.9 per cent.

While there is much work to do in developing countries, and larger micro-credit programs are needed, Western society must "clean up" our own "backyard" at the same time.

Those involved in the women’s centre are only trying to exert some small measure of change on an institution that should be easier to change as students than the practices of foreign governments.

Students do go on to work overseas and should be applauded for efforts to change our own practices first.

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