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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Women-only scholarships, a breach of human rights?

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Author Topic: Women-only scholarships, a breach of human rights?
eryn_smiles
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http://www.stuff.co.nz/4624653a11.html

Reading the sunday morning news I see that women-only educational scholarships are under legal review as they may discriminate against men.

"Historically, women-only scholarships were justified, but now they aren't disadvantaged in education. My view is these scholarships are discriminatory now because we're past the point of needing special treatment for getting women into universities and degrees,"

Currently "women significantly outperform men in education and therefore there may be no inequality for such scholarships to rectify"

"Significantly more women than men in Australia and New Zealand completed university degrees or higher qualifications in recent years. Between 2002 and 2006, 56% more women than men aged 20-24 gained a degree or higher education in New Zealand. In Australia, that gap was 53% over the same period."

"By 2006, there were 23,900 more women than men, aged 25-34, with a degree or higher qualification in New Zealand."

What do you guys think? Is it time to make these scholarships gender-neutral? I'm inclined towards yes.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Heather
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In a lot of places, some of the imbalance happens because not as many men are applying to schools or applying for scholarships. As well, as I understand it, scholarship often doesn't change the rate of women or men who don't finish schooling.

Do you know if either is the case in New Zealand? because it'd be tough to examine if this is really an issue of the scholarships making a difference or not not knowing that information.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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eryn_smiles
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Good point, that could well be the case. I dont know actually. But even if the scholarships didnt make a difference, is their mere existence promoting an inequality that favours women?

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Heather
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If the women in NZ get an education before college which is equitable, and if the women in NZ have equity when it comes to equal pay before and after college, perhaps it is. As well, if the women in NZ are given as much support and encouragement to get secondary education, that's another issue.

But if that's the case, that'd make NZ the exception to most places in the world.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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eryn_smiles
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I believe that women do better than men in both secondary and tertiary education, in terms of more people completing their studies. But it doesn't transfer through to pay equity, i'm sure. There are still more men in the high end jobs.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Djuna
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A similar thing annoys me with British universities - at Oxford and Cambridge, most poignantly, there are women-only colleges, but if I wanted to be in a same-sex college it couldn't happen.
At the end of the day women-only programmes will be necessary as long as there's a paradigm towards selecting men, and you have to think, in terms of university applications at least, there really isn't anymore.

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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Heather
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Save that it's not just about selecting men in that regard.

For instance, given women are paid less for the same work as men, still, that means it's tougher and often takes longer for us to be able to repay student loans. So, even though a man and a woman might leave uni with the same debt, a lot of the time, it offers a woman a larger handicap.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Djuna
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Hadn't thought of that, actually.
Come to think, how is it that that still happens? I know it does, but it's supposed to be illegal, here at least.

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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Heather
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In the United States it is not essentially legal. I confess, I don't know the status of the law in regard to equal pay in NZ right now (anyone more familiar than I with NZ policy, please fill me in?). But even though inequities with pay and gender aren't legal, there are many ways around that, including some court precedents which have made it much harder to make unfair pay claims under the existing policies.

In the States, specifically, additional legislation to ensure equal pay for women for equal work has, in fact, been shot down more than once, and just again very recently with the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which sought to restore equal pay protections which we have lost of late.

Here's some info for you on that per the U.S.:
http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/women/equalpay/index.cfm
http://www.now.org/issues/economic/factsheet.html
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/equalpayact1.html
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/23/mccain-dismisses-equal-pay-legislation-says-women-need-more-training-and-education/
http://speaker.gov/issues?id=0065#1

This still happens because we do not live in a post-feminist world: we still are not, in culture, under the law in many places, considered equal.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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