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KU students walk out of classrooms against the gender pay gap

By Elena Cherubini Nov 10, 2017
Union of Kingston Students stand in support of equal pay day

Kingston University (KU) students on all four campuses walked out of their lectures in protest against the gender pay gap on Friday November 10.

The walkout started at 3.34pm on Friday and was organised by the Union of Kingston Students in an effort to raise awareness on the pay gap affecting women in the UK.

The date and time marked the point from which women will stop being paid until the end of the year compared to men in the same position, due to the 18% pay gap between the two genders.

Safrina Ahmed, Union campaigns and liberation co-ordinator, said: “People are becoming more and more aware of the gender pay gap and it is important that we make a stand on it and we try and dismantle it and tell more people what are the causes.

“The Union can make students more aware of what they can do in the situation they find themselves of potentially experiencing the gender pay gap.”

Some students and lecturers walked out of their classrooms while others stopped by the stands arranged by the Union to make a pledge supporting equal pay day.

Campaigner Ilaria Ferrari with some of the pledges students wrote in support of equal pay day.
Campaigner Ilaria Ferrari with some of the pledges students wrote in support of equal pay day.

At the current rate, findings from the World Economic Forum (2015) showed that it will take 118 years for the gender pay gap to be closed.

“If we don’t do something now then it is not going to close for 118 years which I think is ridiculous. It is affecting women today, it is something it should be done today which is why I am walking out personally,” Eileen Krueger, third-year media and communications student, said.

Male students joined the protest too, writing pledges such as “Good Luck” and “Make it happen”.

“As human beings we are born equal. It is against the law and the principle of being a human being that men earn more than women. It is absolutely unacceptable, we have to raise our voice and we have to fight for women’s rights,” Sayyed Baharak, international relations student, said.

The University and College Union (UCU) supported the campaign and chair of the UCU Kingston branch Dr Nick Freestone was at the Penrhyn Road stand to help raise awareness.

Students and staff from all campuses were encouraged to walk out but stands were arranged only at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park due to a lack of volunteers at Roehampton Vale and Kingston Hill.

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