Speak Up For Women event a success

Auckland, 27 February 2019 – Last night campaign group Speak Up For Women held an event ‘Let’s Talk About Sex Self-ID’ in central Auckland.

Less than 24 hours after Hon Tracey Martin announced the controversial BDMRR Bill will be deferred to allow for adequate public consultation, the event saw 70 people gather to discuss next steps.

Speaking at the event, staunch supporter of sex self-identification Louisa Wall, MP for Manurewa, stated that sufficient public consultation had not taken place. Louisa said: “it’s very important that we have a respectful discussion about this.”

This is an abrupt political backpedal from Louisa, who, alongside Green MPs, has spent the last few months vociferously defending the Bill.

Ani O’Brien, spokesperson for Speak Up For Women, said: “We have turned a corner. People are ready to engage with each other in good faith – and it shows.”

Clauses allowing for the sex on birth certificates to be changed by statutory declaration were introduced to the Bill after public consultation was closed, leading many people to question the fairness of the democratic process.

Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law Conflict and Global Development, University of Reading, said: “From the Universal Periodic Review (where UN Member States review countries’ Human Rights records) NZ accepted 11 recommendations specifically focusing on women’s rights and discrimination against women.  

This is something that NZ ought to be worried about. To have 11 recommendations around pay gap, education, equality etc means there needs to be two fights in NZ: A fight for females and a fight for trans individuals”

Julian Norman, Human Rights Barrister, said: “It should not be beyond the wit of our legislature to protect the rights of trans people to live freely, while also ensuring that women and girls’ current rights are maintained and strengthened”

This sentiment was greet by spontaneous applause from all sides of the room.

Ani O’Brien welcomed more robust and measured discussion around this issue that has been so hostile, up until now; “This is not about women’s rights vs. trans rights.  This is about women’s rights AND trans rights. The question for us now is – how?”

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