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Wellington And Dunedin Feminists Rally For Disappearing Rights

Press Release – Women’s Liberation Aotearoa

Local feminists are marching for their rights in Wellington and Dunedin on New Zealand Suffrage Day, this Sunday, in protest against two bills before Parliament that the women say will erode their rights; the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships …

Local feminists are marching for their rights in Wellington and Dunedin on New Zealand Suffrage Day, this Sunday, in protest against two bills before Parliament that the women say will erode their rights; the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill and the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill.

Women from Women’s Liberation Aotearoa and Mana Wāhine Kōrero are concerned that the bills further entrench the concept of gender identity, already being prioritised over biological sex by schools, health care providers, Statistics NZ and the Human Rights Commission.

“The suffragettes and other feminists achieved huge wins for women in the past, but we’re at a point where the rights they fought for are being slowly eroded. That’s why we’re here today – to honour those feminists before us and to bring attention to our concerns,” says Tania Sturt, of Women’s Liberation Aotearoa.

The groups are concerned about proposals for sex self-identification in the BDMRR Bill. “This means that anybody can change the sex on their birth certificate, simply by saying so, which means we can’t be guaranteed single sex spaces in refuges, changing rooms, prisons, and public toilets,” says Tania. “This poses a risk to the safety of women and girls and is a step backwards for women’s rights. Women’s achievements in sport and in public life are also under threat if men can take women’s places. Most people can see how unfair this is.”

“We are concerned about the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill too,” says Tania. “Although this bill has good intentions, it could achieve the opposite of what it intends. We don’t think a lifelong medical pathway should be an automatic solution to gender dysphoria, especially when evidence indicates many children grow out of it and happily identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.”

The women are also concerned about proposed hate speech laws which could prevent women from being able to defend their rights.

The Wellington protest will take place on Sunday, 19 September, at 12.00pm, at Te Aro Park, and a rally will be held at the Octagon in Dunedin from 11 am.

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