Jen Light wants you to know about International Women’s Day.

Last Saturday marked International women’s day, with the annual international women’s day march. It therefore seems an appropriate time to reflect on how far the equality movement has, or hasn’t come.

It’s 2014, It’s been 111 years since Emmeline Pankhurst founded a new organisation, the Women’s Social and Political Union, which sparked further radical feminists fighting for equality. It has been 102 years since the first International Women’s Day, and 97 years since the Russian revolution which was sparked on March 8, 1917 by women protesting against bread shortages in St. Petersburg, the 8th of March is recognised as International Women’s Day.

By 1923 all women in Australia had the right to vote, in 1961 the pill became public accessible empowering women to have the rights over their own bodily autonomy, women account for over 50% of University graduates in Australia. In the last 10 years the Sydney Uni SRC has seen 7 female Presidents, and I was fortunate to be one of 3 female candidates running for Presidency last year.

However as a 21 year old woman I feel incredibly disappointed and increasingly afraid of what the future holds for women and the seemingly distant future of equality.

The Marie Claire #demandbetter video that went viral in the last week demonstrates the devastating statistics and the inequality to the treatment of women. The pay gap between men and women is 17.1%, women are constantly judged on their appearance and superficial characteristics.
80% of women who considered a career in politics now say that the treatment of Julia Gillard has put them off.

Women are better represented in the Afghan Government than in Australia’s federal Cabinet. With the only Minister being Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott disturbingly appointing himself Minster for Women.

It seems that the feminist movement has been paused. That’s not to say that there are no longer active feminists fighting, but the size of the movement has shrunk not grown, and the three steps forward that women are taking are simultaneously taking one step back.

It is up to young women to make a fuss, and not be shut down, now is the time to re-energise the movement and fight for women’s rights and equality.

Ask Abe – Tenancy

Hi Abe,

I moved into a place in Stanmore at the beginning of February. I paid my bond and 4 weeks rent in advance. Now that I’ve lived there a while I really hate it and want to move out. The house itself is dark and gloomy and I don’t really like my neighbourhood. I told my landlord but she said I had to stay until the end of my contract. This is a real problem because I’ve already signed a lease for another room in a different house. Please help me.

Doubled Up

—–

Dear Doubled Up,

There are 2 types of renters: tenants and borders/lodgers. Tenants are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act (2010). It sets down rules for both you and your landlord. In the situation you have described you want to “break your lease early”. As a tenant you would have to pay a penalty of between 4 and 6 weeks rent in addition to rent up on till the day you move out. If you have maintained your room in good order you should receive a refund of your bond.

You may be able to convince your landlord to let you find someone else to take over your lease in exchange for no or a reduced penalty. They are under no obligation to do this.

If you are a border/lodger you are covered by the contract that you signed. There is usually some clause in there about how to break the contract early. Again, you may be able to convince your landlord to allow you to find someone to take over your contract. If this doesn’t work you might like to speak to the SRC Lawyer about breaking your contract with as little financial penalty as possible.

Abe

Abe is the SRC’s welfare dog. This column offers students the opportunity to ask questions on anything. This can be as personal as a question on a Centrelink payment or as general as a question on the state of the world. Send your questions to help@src.usyd.edu.au. Abe gathers his answers from experts in a number of areas. Coupled with his own expertise on dealing with people, living on a low income and being a dog, Abe’s answers can provide  you excellent insight.

Tips for living on little money

Many students are forced to live on very little money while they are studying. Here are some ideas that might help you get by.

LOANS, BURSARIES & SCHOLARSHIPS

University Financial Assistance Office: 9351 2416
Loans are interest free and bursaries do not need to be repaid. Talk to them about your situation and they’ll guide you to the most suitable option.

Scholarships Office (University & Government scholarships) 8627 8450
There is range of different ways to qualify for a scholarship. Talk to the University about which ones you’re eligible for and how to apply. There are also some competitions you could enter that have cash prizes.

SRC Emergency loans up to $50 are good to fill that gap the day before payday or if you forget your wallet. 9660 5222

MANAGING MONEY

Many students are forced to live on very little money while they are studying. Here are some ideas that might help you get by.

When you don’t have enough money to make little mistakes it is a good idea to have a budget plan. Write down how you are going to spend money each week, including putting some aside for unforeseen expenses if you can. Look for “leaks” that can help you to save a bit more. Look at: www.moneyminded.com.au
www.wesleymission.org.au/centres/creditline “budget planner”.

DEALING WITH DEBTS

The SRC Legal Service will work with you to clear your debts. This service is free to undergraduate students.
If you have a problem with gambling, free, confidential help is available at the University. Call 9351 6346 for more information.

HAPPY HOUSING

Cheap quality accommodation is hard to get. Most of the cheap options go very quickly, so you’ll have to be patient and flexible. If you are in urgent need of housing ask an SRC Caseworker about emergency accommodation.
If you are about to move into a home or if you are behind in rent and are on the lease you might be eligible for Rentstart through Housing Pathways (Housing NSW).

PHONE

Pre-paid accounts allow you to give yourself a fixed budget for phonecalls. Encourage your friends to call you or text to make a skype date. Viber and Whatsapp also allow you to make free texts or calls. However, be aware that you are using your internet for this.

FREE FOOD, CHEAP FOOD

There is no reason to be hungry if you live in Sydney. There are many places around Sydney that offer free meals and a few that may do food parcel. http://www.newtowncentre.org/_pdfs/meals.pdf

HEALTH

Bulk billing (or direct billing) doctors means that you will not be charged for the appointment. This is covered on Medicare and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). eg University Health Service in Wentworth and Holme buildings.

Safer sex is important. You can pick up free condoms from the SRC office, Level 1 Wentworth Building.

Clean needles and injecting packs are available from the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS). Call their 24 hour confidential telephone service on 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599. Some chemists do needle and syringe exchange. In Newtown this includes Chemist
on King, Ford’s Pharmacy and Rainbow Chemist. In Auburn there’s Alpha Pharmacy and Rite Aid Pharmacy. There’s also Camden Pharmacy and Adore Pharmacy Rozelle.

Dentists can be super expensive on a student budget. But your teeth are important. There are some limited services you may be able to access for free. Speak to SRC HELP caseworkers.

Australian citizens and permanent residents can apply for a Low Income Health Card Card if you earn $501 a week or less, or get a Centrelink student payment. This gives you a reduced price on prescription drugs, free ambulance cover etc.

help@src.usyd.edu.au | (02) 9660 5222

1

vCxxvxCbzxcbvzcbzcvbzvxbzXCbxzvb