Wellington , July 29 2019
Feminist group Speak Up For Women is today launching a campaign encouraging Kiwi sports fans to demand the government defend women’s sport, given inaction over the issue from sport officials.
This follows trans athlete Laurel Hubbard, who has competed as a male, controversially taking the gold medal in women’s weightlifting at the Pacific Games earlier this month, displacing Samoa’s Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Feagaiga Stowers and her compatriot Iuniarra Sipaia, who would otherwise have placed first and second overall.
Speak Up For Women’s spokesperson Ani O’Brien says: ‘Kiwis know that males competing in women’s sport is blatantly unfair. As a nation we pride ourselves on being good sports, and going into the Olympics next year this is not a good look.
“We’ve met with senior figures in the professional sporting community who say the rules allowing this to happen are not fair – but they won’t speak out for fear of backlash from transactivists, who quickly shut down any discussion with accusations of bigotry,” said Ms O’Brien.
Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said he was shocked when he heard about Hubbard’s win and that it should never have been allowed to happen.
“The Samoan government has spoken up for its female athletes and it’s time our government did the same,” says Ms O’Brien.
“We’re calling on Kiwis to head to our Speak Up For Women website, where they can easily email Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and tell him to step up now and kick these rules into touch.”
Media contact: Jenny Whyte
About Speak Up For Women
Speak Up For Women is a diverse group of ordinary New Zealanders including teachers, academics, health professionals, care workers, activists, lawyers and students with a shared interest in the rights of women and girls.