Include women on decisions impacting women
The right to be consulted about changes in policy and practice where there is a risk of negative impact upon the human rights of female people and the right to free speech.
We are seeing with Bills that directly impact women such as the BDMRR amendment that allowed self-id for gender identity in 2021, all other stakeholders that are not LGQBQTIA such as women or parental groups are excluded.
We are seeing bullying, censorship, de-platforming, doxing, demonising, threat of criminal action, and professional sanctions, which impact on reputation and loss of income due to loss of employment for those resisting a belief-based system of gender ideology and defending the class of ‘woman’ (biological females) as a separate ontological class.
We are seeing the chilling effect of the suppression of any discussion, debate, or open dialogue on gender ideology even in our universities, as it is true in other countries around the world. We are particularly concerned with the lack of data collected on the impact of legislative change to replace sex with gender, and the impact of males in female-only spaces.
On 14 February 2022, LAVA ( Lesbian Action for Visibility in Aotearoa) sent a letter to David Parker MP, outlining the concerns regarding the submission process: Letter to the Honourable David Parker (scroll by date)
"69% of submissions on the BDMRR Bill were opposed to it, but this fact was not mentioned in the final report. 18-20% of the total submissions were ruled out of scope and disregarded. All of these were opposed to the Bill in its present form, and while not directly linked to SOP 59, should be acknowledged as representing the views of a significant proportion of those who took the time to make submissions.
No mention was made in the final report of points made, concerns raised and research referred to by those opposed to the proposed legislation. We challenge the report’s statement that one of the most commented on aspects of the SOP was that, under clause 22A, only people on the New Zealand birth register would be able to amend their sex on their birth certificate through a self-identification process. Very few submissions opposed to the proposed legislation even mentioned this."
In a Stuff article, from 2021 Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, a Green Party MP who sat as a government representative on the Select Committee for amendments to the BDMRR bill, and the Conversion Therapy Bill spoke about submitters with whom she disagreed:
"Being on the select committee hearing the submissions on BDMRR was difficult. The scale of misinformation, lies and scaremongering was staggering. The consistent misgendering and denial of human rights routinely made me furious. I maintained my composure (most of the time) knowing it was just a fraction of the discrimination that takatāpui, trans, intersex and non-binary whānau face every day." She did not hide her disdain or summary dismissal of concerns as well as this statement indicates. 70% of submitters had concerns about the amendment to the BDMRR bill, which passed in December 2021.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
When the the government's sports guidance and funding organisation sought to provide guidance on trans identified individuals in sport, the guidelines were drafted and edited by consultation.
The consultation included stakeholders from:
• the sports sector
• transgender and rainbow organisations
• government agencies
• advocacy groups.
Save Women's Sports - an organisation that examines the evidence regarding the impact on women and girls, were not considered necessary stakeholders in this process.
They released a statement on the publication of Sporting NZ's:
Guiding Principles for the Inclusion of Transgender People in Community Sport
December 6th 2022 - Sport NZ confirm fairness and safety of women and girls no longer a priority
Excerpt: “...New Zealanders know that sex separated categories in sport are required for girls and women to compete and thrive at all levels of sport. Every single female Olympian, World Cup winner, and professional athlete started and advanced her sporting aspirations in community sport. It is unbelievable that today Sport NZ is telling New Zealand girls and young women that including male bodies that possess an inner female gender identity in their sporting categories is more important than providing them with a fair playing field on which to participate, compete, and succeed.
“Sport New Zealand stated during the consultation process that they may reduce or withdraw funding from sports that do not implement their transgender inclusion guidelines. While they are claiming these are only “guidelines” we know that many sports are reliant on funding from Sport NZ to function and so the principles released today will place many sports in an insidious position,” she says.
SWSA are strong advocates for the inclusion in sport.
Co-spokewoman Ro Edge says participation in sport brings physical, mental health, and social benefits that should be accessible to all, but not at the expense of fairness and safety to female players. SWSA applauds the decision of Boxing NZ to balance inclusion with fairness and safety – by protecting the women’s and girls’ categories for females only, and progressing with open categories for those who do not identify as their biological sex.
Ro Edge says Sport NZ has shown itself to be intransigent. “Sport NZ has refused to even consider the scientific evidence that clearly sets out the differences in male and female physiology that provide indisputable male advantage in sports involving strength, stamina or speed. It has also refused to take into account the significantly increased safety risk of allowing a male body to compete against women in contact or combat sports. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that female athletes are at significantly greater risk of a traumatic brain injury event than male athletes. They also fare worse after a concussion and take longer to recover.
“We are also deeply dismayed by Sport New Zealand’s claim in the guidelines that not allowing a transgender woman (male) access to women’s sporting categories is a form of direct discrimination. This stands in direct opposition to section 49 of the Human Rights Act 1993 that specifically allows for the exclusion of persons of one sex from participation in any competitive sporting activity in which the strength, stamina, or physique of competitors is relevant..."