EXCLUSIVE: Oxford University’s students union announces replacement for Women’s Officer axed amid row between trans supporters and feminists – and it is a MAN
- OUSU prompted fury from feminists after abolishing the Women’s Officer role
- Led to the creation of a new role, Vice-President for Liberation and Equality
Oxford University’s student union has appointed a man to a new role that was created after the post of Women’s Officer was axed.
The union prompted fury from feminists after abolishing the sabbatical position last year and replacing it with an officer for ‘liberation and equality’.
The move provoked intense criticism from feminist campaigners, who argued it was essential to have an official who could speak out on women-only issues.
And there was more fury today after it emerged a man, Oxford student Kennedy Aliu, had been voted into the role of Vice-President for Liberation and Equality.
Kennedy Aliu has been appointed as Oxford University Student Union’s VP for Liberation and Equality, which was created after the role of Women’s Officer was abolished
Caroline Ffiske, from Conservatives for Women, told MailOnline: ‘This is indicative of where we’re going.
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‘Women are losing their voices, losing their positions and losing their language. It’s not acceptable.
‘This position was meant to give women a voice and now a man has taken it.
‘This is not improving equality, it’s a regression. We would always say sex matters. We can’t get past that and shouldn’t.’
Previously, the Women’s Officer was in charge of supporting students on issues including women’s health, sexual consent and night-time safety.
However, the OUSU said the ‘VP Women prioritises one minority/protected group over others’, adding that the role has ‘not been replaced but augmented to include more underrepresented and marginalised communities who currently do not have sufficient representation’.
Among those to speak out was the last woman to occupy the post, Ellie Greaves, who warned the move risked sending out a message that ‘sexism is solved’.
Among those to speak out at the role of the Women’s Officer role was the last woman to occupy the post, Ellie Greaves. But she later apologised for her comments
Speaking to The Times, she added: ‘We’re not where we need to be in terms of women’s representation and I think there’s a risk of moves to tackle sexual violence being left behind.
‘There’s a reason why the role has been around for so long. I will continue to prioritise women for as long as I’m in Oxford.’
But her supposedly trans-exclusionary stance sparked a backlash, causing her to issue a grovelling apology.
‘The comments I made in the article contribute to a bio-essentialist, narrow-minded narrative of what being a woman is, including the prioritisation of women over minorities.
‘I cannot apologise enough for the damage and hurt I have caused the trans community.
‘My knowledge of the trans experience is very limited at the moment, and I will endeavour to educate myself further on trans inclusivity through more open engagement with LGBTQ+ Campaign and personal research.’
Mr Aliu starts his new role in June and will earn £25,640 a year.
A view of the Radcliffe Camera, one of Oxford University’s most famous sites
A job description describes the role as representing ‘student Members from underrepresented backgrounds (including but not limited to women, disabled students, BAME students, LGBTQIA+ students, international students and socioeconomically disadvantaged students) to the University and external audiences’.
It adds: ‘They lead in policy making, campaigning and lobbying work in conjunction with other Officers, on inequality issues at the University of Oxford.
‘They take responsibility for driving forward action on inequality in University of Oxford at a student level; and promote the importance and value of work on inequality across the whole work of Oxford SU.’
The blub notes that the union’s definition of what a woman is ‘strives to be trans-inclusive’ and that the term ‘covers anyone who identifies wholly or partially as a woman, or as transfeminine’.
MailOnline has contacted the student union for comment.
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