Last night Martha Burk, a woman who has fought throughout her life for women’s equality, said that 30 years after the Equal Credit Act women are still recieving 75 cents to each dollar that men recieve. She said this is simply not acceptable. In 30 years, the pay gap between men and women has been closed only 10 cents, Burk said.

Burk began her speech last night with three topics in mind including women’s equity, Title IX and the Augusta National Golf Course issue. While addressing these issues, Burk continued to come back to the concern of whether women’s rights are seen as overstepping their boundaries.

“Until now we are engaged in a debate about whether or not we have in fact come too far,” Burk said.

Burk said that statistics of college enrollment show that 56 percent are women, so in that field women are a majority.

However, Burk also said that women have a majority when it comes to poverty and minimum wage jobs.

People argue that minimum wage should not be raised because jobs are held mostly by teenagers who will spend their money carelessly, but according to Burk that this is simply not true.

“The most frequent holder of minimum wage jobs is an adult woman working to support her family,” Burk said. She added that the average salary of women is $24,000 a year.

In regards to whether women’s rights have gone too far, she said that this is not true and, if anything, women’s rights are not protected enough.

Burk reminded younger students and women in the audience that there is not an equal rights amendment in the Constitution.

“You [women] are not equal in the Constitution of the United States,” Burk said. “This means that without consitutional backing, laws like Title IX can be overturned in the blink of an eye.”

Because women’s rights have come into question, Burk said that this is no time to be passive.

“You are required as a university to narrow the gap of equal opportunity in education and in the workplace,” Burk said.

Burk said that the numbers of white men holding prestigious jobs must be about overturning quotas that have been in place in our country for too long.

“Those quotas say that one group owns all the jobs and all the resources, and if the rest of you want it, you they have the loaf of bread and you can fight over the crumbs,” Burk said.

In relation to the Augusta controversy Burk said that it is not about golf; it is about power and about the members of this club that think it is fair to keep women from being members.

“The members of the Fortune 500 companies say this: ‘It doesn’t matter that our CEO is a member of a club that excludes you [women].’ That doesn’t mean anything,” Burk said.

Burk encouraged students to acknowledge that discrimination between race and sex are only different because they are two different words. She said that this needs to be realized and addressed.

Burk said that if the situation was a racial issue where African-Americans were barred from the club, an uproar would result. So then she asked, what is the difference between that kind of discrimination and gender discrimination?