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OUSA supports Human Rights claim against loans

Media Release

Wednesday September 3rd 2003

Attn: Local, Political and Educational Reporters

OUSA supports Human Rights claim against loans

The Otago University Students Association has come out in support of the claim made to the Human Rights Commission by women student leaders, that the student loan scheme contravenes the Human Rights Act in its discrimination against women students.

On average a female student will take 28 years to pay back her student loan, compared to 14 years for a male student.

" We believe that the student loan scheme is discriminatory against ALL students, and is creating a generation of New Zealanders who will be crippled by debt before they begin their working lives, but the effects of this debt burden is significantly exacerbated for women students," said Mr. Nick Lanham OUSA president.

" Women don't have pay parity with men, and we certainly don't have debt parity. As bad as the ongoing burden of debt is for a male, women are affected even more severely." Catherine May, OUSA Campaigns Coordinator.

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

(ends)

For further information

Nick Lanham Catherine May OUSA President OUSA Campaigns Coordinator 03 479 5332 03 479 5338 021 187 4800 03 467 9222

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