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Speak Up for Women welcome coalition agreement policy changes

MEDIA RELEASE: Wellington, November 24th 2023

With the announcement today of a new coalition government, Speak Up for Women welcome in particular several policy decisions within our scope of work.

Our campaigning, in conjunction with other groups, has brought these issues to the attention of our incoming politicians and they have been unable to ignore the fact that these are issues that voters care about. The recent Talbot Mills poll confirmed that these issues are important - and that they are the issues where the public are most at odds with the outgoing government.

We look forward to working with incoming Ministers as a stakeholder in areas where women need representation and where sex really does matter.

  1. EDUCATION: "Refocus the curriculum on academic achievement and not ideology, including the removal and replacement of the gender, sexuality, and relationship-based education guidelines". Gender Ideology is to be removed from the Relationship and Sexuality Education guidelines. Ideological concepts have no place in a fact based curriculum. Our children and young people should not be taught that sex is something that can be changed. We look forward to seeing revised RSE guidelines that provide our young people with sex, sexuality, consent and relationship information that is evidence based and age appropriate. We also want to work with the incoming Minister to establish firm guidelines for bathroom and changing facilities within schools.

  2. SPORTS: "Ensure publicly funded sporting bodies support fair competition that is not compromised by rules relating to gender". Voters have consistently stated that they do not support trans-identifying males in women's sports and this new coalition agreement recognises this. We congratulate Save Women's Sports Australasia on their work in this area. The Sport NZ 'Guiding principles for the inclusion of transgender people in community sport' are anti-women, unfair and go against the wishes of the majority of our population. These guidelines should be replaced with guidelines that prioritise integrity and fairness. Sporting categories are what create inclusive participation and we believe that while sport should be open to all, this does not mean that anyone can compete in any category they choose.

  3. FREE SPEECH: "Protect freedom of speech by ruling out the introduction of hate speech legislation and stop the Law Commissions work on hate speech legislation". After our attempts to meet in public venues to discuss the proposed changes in the BDMRR Bill were consistently cancelled by council facilities and being labelled as “transphobic”, “bigoted” and a “hate group” by a number of organisations and individuals (including MPs), we took one of the most recent and important court cases regarding freedom of association and speech and the Bill of Rights Act in recent times (Whitmore vs Palmerston North City Council). We know we are not a hate group and the Judge agreed - but legislation around what can and cannot be said is subjective and dangerous.

Our vision is for women and girls to maintain sex-based services, spaces and opportunities in New Zealand and we look forward to working with the new coalition government to achieve this. We will be inviting discussion on how we can confirm the meaning of Sex in law and how we can ensure that government policy, guidelines and documentation match our legislation.

The SUFW position is that “gender identity” should be categorised and treated as a belief system in government policy making. As with any other religious or philosophical belief it should not be grounds for discrimination - but it should not be incorporated into government policy or enforced to the detriment of sex based reality.

This means:

  • sex is immutable

  • no males in women's refuges

  • no males in women's prisons

  • single-sex facilities provided where appropriate

  • women's health initiatives that use language that reflects reality, we are not cervix havers!

  • women's violence and sexual violence programs that recognise the sex-based nature of the problem

  • women being free to speak about issues that concern them

  • a Ministry for Women that recognises that a woman is an adult human female

  • an examination of the influence of activists, NGOs and lobbyists on government policy making, including activist staff and affinity groups including “Rainbow” networks

Suzanne Levy, spokeswoman for Speak Up for Women


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