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Unequal Debt Burden Continues Unchecked

12 August 2003

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Unequal Debt Burden Continues Unchecked

The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) was heartened by the UN CEDAW Committee call for the NZ Government to review the Student Loan scheme.

“The evidence that the student loan scheme has, and will continue to, create gender inequalities has been available to the Government for several years”, said Beryl Anderson, National President of NCWNZ. “The existence of the gender pay gap guarantees women will be disadvantaged when faced with the burden of a student loan.”

The Status of Women – non-Maori NGO alternate CEDAW report, which was presented to the CEDAW committee last month clearly identified that women with a student loan will be forced to pay more for their education than men. The discrimination against women is further exacerbated by the traditional time out from work taken by women to have children.

“The call for a review of the scheme may offer some encouragement to young women, who are weighing up their education and career options,” said Ms Anderson. “NGOs are certainly not discounting the possibility that addressing the pitfalls with the student loan scheme won’t reap rewards in reducing the “brain-drain” overseas.”

ENDS

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