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March 1, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Women’s Rights Officer

Executive column

It’s hard being a woman. Sure, we’ve got the boobs and the wiles and the free entry to Mermaids on Tuesday, but we’ve also got the pay equity issues and the being silenced and the bloating once a month for, like, a week.

In her first year after graduating, a woman will get paid on average 8% less than a man in the same position. After five years, the pay gap increases to around 12%. This is without taking into account the potential ‘risk’ of getting pregnant – how dare we do what is biologically destined for us. Women are often passed over for high level jobs in favour of keeping the ‘boy’s club’, despite the fact that it has been proven that a female presence on high level governance boards leads to more well rounded decisions. Women are often talked over when they have good ideas because the only good idea a woman can have is what to cook her husband for dinner. Males talk over women in tutorials, meetings, arguments. This has to stop.

Marilyn Monroe once said “What is in me nobody sees. I have thoughts of great beauty. Please, let me talk.”

Women are not out to nag every time we open our collective mouth to shout out against injustice. Against rape and violence in our community. Against unsafe sexual practises. Against anything which can and does set us back in our fight for equity.

If you care about inequity based on the fact that you have a vagina, then speak out. Come along to women’s group (keep an eye out for posters) and help us fight the good fight. With baking, music, movies and other fun stuff along the way of course. Not all of our meetings are exclusive to self-identifying women either! Or pop into the Women’s Space and have a nap, stock up on condoms or dental dams, or peruse the resources which have lovingly accumulated over the years.

I am a feminist. I shave my armpits. I may or may not be a raging dyke. I am your Women’s Rights Officer and I am committed to being your voice. Email me at or get yourself on the Women’s Group mailing list at Don’t forget the join the facebook group – search ‘VUWSA Women’s Group’.

Have a fantastic O-Week, and don’t forget to have safe sex!


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