10 Mar 2015

What it means to be a modern feminist

9:09 am on 10 March 2015

Following International Women's Day on Sunday, Megan Whelan speaks to three young women about feminism in 2015.

Social Justice advocate Julia Whaipooti says she sees symptoms of structural discrimination against women all the time, and while there are women speaking up, not much change is happening.

“When I see the vulnerable women walking through our doors [at Community Law], it really does concern me. And even within women, we have disproportionate impacts among Māori as well.”

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Photo: Unknown

Olive Brown, one of the leaders of Wellington East Girls College’s Feminieast group says seeing high profile feminists, like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have made feminism cool. “It’s really empowering, especially having Lorde from New Zealand up there on the big stage. She’s a real feminist example in that industry.”

Unionist and feminist writer Stephanie Rodgers focuses on structural economic economy - the gender pay gap, “women’s work” being paid less, but also support for families- both mums and dads.

“It’s often a retort to feminism that ‘you’ll never have a complete 51 – 49 percent split of all gender roles in society’. The point of equality is not that we have perfect quota representation in whatever field, whether it’s politics or Oscar-winning directors, but it is about gender not being a factor anymore in what makes people successful.”

You can hear more about International Women’s Day in this week’s On The Dial podcast.