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Women Tired Of A Decade Of Discrimination

Tomorrow is International Working Women’s Day, and female students around the country will be using the opportunity to show the way the student loan scheme is especially unfair to women.

University and polytechnic students’ associations will be using speakers, lunches, performances, fliers and music to encourage female students to act against the discriminatory loan scheme.

“Women take longer to pay back our student loans because we earn less than men and take time out to have babies. The longer you take to repay your debt, the more you pay in interest. On average, a basic degree costs $4500 more for a woman than a man,” said New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) National Women’s Rights Officer, Anna McMartin.

McMartin believes that much of the community is unaware that women pay 20% more for their education than men. “If a supermarket or petrol station announced it was going to charge women 20% more than men, the public would be outraged. Yet we sell education – a basic human right – to women at a greater cost than men,” she said.

“International Working Women’s Day is bittersweet for female students and graduates. We are still working harder than men for less,” McMartin said.

“If the government genuinely wants to eliminate discrimination against women, it will dump the loan scheme. A good start would be cutting interest on student loans. It is callous for the government to take extra from women, who are already earning less than men,” said McMartin.


For further information please contact
Anna McMartin NZUSA National Women’s Rights Officer
Ph: 03 473 83 92

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