Speak Up for Women Statement Regarding Kellie-Jay Keen’s New Zealand Events
Wellington March 21st 2023
The Let Women Speak events led by Kellie-Jay Keen are not Speak Up For Women managed events, but we know that many of our supporters will attend them. We encourage everyone who is concerned with the rights of women and girls to attend these public events.
The protesters who gate-crashed the event in Melbourne have unfortunately been allowed to completely hijack the purpose of the event and sideline the women who spoke. These women speakers are mothers and grandmothers, aunties, daughters and sisters. They are non-violent and only wish to gather and voice their concerns, to speak about how their rights are being impacted with the introduction of gender identity in legislation, and to share their own experiences.
We all have and deserve human rights and transgender people are no exception. However, accessing sex segregated or same-sex spaces and services, designated for people of the opposite sex, is not a human right.
As women’s rights campaigners we are extremely concerned about this conflict of rights.
We are concerned that the Mayor of Wellington, Tory Whanau, is encouraging protesters to silence women, many of whom are part of the rainbow community that she claims to be protecting, when she should be supporting women’s freedom of speech.
We are concerned that some MPs of the Green Party of New Zealand are discouraging open debate around a topic that concerns all New Zealanders. In a healthy democracy all views should be heard, even the ones we don’t agree with.
We support Kellie-Jay Keen’s right to enter New Zealand to advocate for women’s rights and denounce the attempts by some individuals and groups to have her visa revoked.