ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE VICTORIAN WOMEN’S GUILD
We have an active online presence
Web Page: We run a web site: www.victorianwomensguild.org
Facebook Page: We run a FB page https://www.facebook.com/VicWomensGuild with regular posts
Twitter: We run a Twitter account https://twitter.com/vic_women
We opposed the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2019
This Bill (which we call the Self ID Bill), which has passed into law on 03/09/2019, allows people to change their sex on government documents, beginning with their birth certificate.
See: https://www.victorianwomensguild.org/campaigns/birth-certificate-changes for full details of our campaign
VWG opposed the Victorian Labour Government’s Self ID Bill in 2019.
During this campaign we lobbied members of Parliament.
We sent emails and actual hard copy letters to every Victorian MP.
Our lobbying included a very detailed legal analysis of the Bill and offered suggested amendments.
We wrote a submission opposing the Bill.
We personally met with a large number of MPs to ask them to oppose this Bill.
As a result the Liberal Party and a number of independent MPs voted against the Bill.
We liaised with other groups and individuals opposing the Bill to co-ordinate and support each other’s campaigns.
We ran a Public Forum at Melbourne University on August 8th 2019 which featured four academics from three Universities speaking on why the Self ID Bill was a threat to women’s rights. Members of the press and several MPs attended this forum. We had a large audience despite a demonstration staged outside our venue by Trans Rights Activists who abused participants as they entered. We had to have security guards present to prevent disruption.
We made several press releases and got a considerable amount of publicity in the mass media; TV radio and newspapers. VWG became a known entity and is now contacted on this issue to make comments and provide arguments to support our position.
We were present in the chamber of Parliament when the Bill was being debated.
The consequences are that anyone can simply walk into the offices of Births Deaths and Registration and apply to change their sex on their birth certificate and thus on any public documents such as driver’s licenses, etc. There is no requirement to undergo any counselling or medical transitioning. Individuals can retain their bodily sex characteristics but be identified as the opposite based on their own self definition/diagnosis eg. a man can legally change his sex and thence forth cannot be legally challenged when he enters designated female only spaces such as toilets, change rooms, refuges, sports teams, etc.
We expressed concerns about the Change or Suppression Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill 2021
In 2020 we wrote a submission to parliamentary committee opposing the proposed Bill.
This Bill conflates sex and gender. VWG opposes the forced conversion of someone because of their sexuality. But the bill only allows for the affirmation of someone questioning their gender.
We contacted all Victorian MPs and voiced our concerns about, and arguments against, the Bill.
We visited several MPs to ask them to oppose the passage of the Bill.
We provided, on their invitation, the opposition Liberal Party a list of our concerns to feed into their parliamentary speeches opposing the Bill.
We ran a public campaign inviting the public to oppose the bill in various ways thus ensuring numerous communications were sent to MPs.
We made press releases and members were interviewed and our views appeared in a number of newspapers, TV panels and on radio.
We rang into radio talk shows to express our concerns.
We monitored a very long and impassioned debate in parliament and noted the views of various MPs, including independents who could conceivable defeat laws such as these if persuaded.
The Bill became law after passing through both Houses of Parliament on 16/02/2021
See https://www.victorianwomensguild.org/campaigns/conversion-therapy for details of the campaign and the legislaion..
Consequences of this Bill being passed; Once signed into law it makes it illegal to attempt to persuade anyone to change their mind about their sexuality or identity. VWG opposes the forced conversion of someone because of their sexuality. However this Bill conflates sex and gender. It only allows for the affirmation of someone questioning their gender. There are onerous penalties for both professionals such as teachers, psychologists, counsellors and for members of the public if they attempt to ‘convert’ someone. eg. if a young girl is seeking to change her ‘gender’ to male and undergo gender re-assignment surgery and puberty blockers and anyone suggests to her, even in a conversation, that she might try being a lesbian before undertaking lifelong changes to her body, which may cause infertility, etc, that person can be punished with heavy fines or up to 10 years imprisonment.
We expressed concerns about the proposed Tasmanian Conversion Bill in early 2021
VWG wrote a submission to the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute Committee examining the legal and social consequences of a Change and Suppression Bill being proposed in Tasmania.
Individual members also wrote submissions to this committee.
We supported the australian Stanisland Question campaign mid 2021
VWG wrote to all Victorian MPs asking them to comment on the Stanisland Question which is:
“Do you believe that male-sexed people have the right to undress and shower in a communal changing room with teenage girls?
Answers are posted in a table on VWG website.
VWG will continue to publicise, in various ways, the stance every MP takes on this issue.
We made a Submission to The UN Commission on the Status of Women July 2021
VWG wrote a submission to the UNWC outlining dangers to women’s rights and safety caused by transgender ideology and actions.
We campaigned around the International Olympic Committee's policy on trans athletes Aug 2021
VWG initiated a campaign to write to and influence the IOC when it reviews its policy on Trans Athletes later in the year. Currently the policy, which was created in 2015, is seen as not fit for purpose as it allows male sexed people to compete against female sex people with only minimal limitations of testosterone levels.
We support initiatives by other groups and individuals
We support groups and individuals who set up valuable initiatives such as the website No Conflict They Said which posts stories by women who’s rights have been adversely affected by trans incursions into women’s lives and spaces. We supported the site creator Dr. Holly Lawford-Smith who has threatened in her workplace Melbourne University as a result. We wrote to the Vice-Chancellor and media in support of her keeping her position at the University.
We participate in protests
VWG is often represented by our members at public protests against trans incursions on women’s and children’s rights and the deliberate silencing of women’s voices e.g. the protest against anti radical feminist bias outside the ABC studios in Melbourne on July11th 2021 and Minister Foley’s electoral office on 23rd April 2021.
We participate in campaigns
VWG joins other groups by writing letters (sending emails) and signing petitions on any issue of relevance to our core purpose. This happens frequently.
e.g for the Feminist Legal Clinic (Sydney) campaign we sent a submissions and protests letters to the Sydney City Council opposing their defunding of this vital service for women. Also we contributed to the campaign to keep the McIver’s Ladies Swimming Pool (Sydney)for women only.
We engage with the media
We contact the mass media and issue press releases about issues of concern to us and give interviews to journalists. We also ring into talk back radio and write letters to the newspapers. Our media releases can be found here.
We engage in research
We do extensive research on a daily basis into the consequences for women’s rights posed by the adoption of hostile trans ideology. Our volunteer lawyers do detailed analyses of proposed legislation we are opposing and suggest sensible amendments. We assess international trends and events and use our research in our campaign work. We network internationally with groups and individuals who support our approach. We publish position papers informed by our research on our website.
We hold regular meetings
VWG working group meets in person (or via Zoom) at least once a month to discuss issues and plans for action and the maintenance and improvement of our public pages on FB and the Web.
We respond to requests from media and politicians, other groups supporting women’s rights and the general public.
VWG is entirely a group of volunteers who self fund our research, actions and campaigns.
VWG functions as a non-hierarchical feminist collective. We welcome new members, especially those willing and able to contribute to the work we are doing.
VWG has established a public profile as a highly informed and active group working to protect women’s rights and opposing their erosion in Victoria.