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Students file human rights claim against loans

Camilla Belich - National Women's Rights Officer

Students file historic human rights claim against loans

A group of women students are filing a claim that the student loans scheme breaches the Human Rights Act at the Human Rights Commission today.

"The student loan scheme is grossly discriminatory against women," said Camilla Belich, National Women's Rights Officer for the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA). "Because of our lower lifetime earnings, we take twice as long as men on average to repay our student loans and pay nearly 20% more for a bachelors degree because of interest payments."

"Women are paying more than men for the same qualifications," said Belich. "By making a claim against student loans under the Human Rights Act, we are seeking to prove that the student loan scheme is not only unfair but it also breaches human rights."

A group of women student leaders from tertiary institutions will be personally delivering the claim to the Human Rights Commission in Wellington today.

"This claim is going forward under the name of NZUSA Co-President Fleur Fitzsimons," said Belich. "But we are taking the claim on behalf of all women who are disadvantaged by the loans scheme - whether they be nurses, teachers, hairdressers or doing any other paid or unpaid work."

Women student leaders will be delivering the claim in academic dress at 1.45pm this afternoon at the Human Rights Commission on Aitken Street.

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