Victorian Women's Guild Media Release 02 August 2019

For Immediate Release

Protecting Women's and Girl's Sex-Based Rights in the Age of Gender Identity

A new bill before the Victorian Parliament would make it possible for people to change the sex on their birth certificate without any need to undergo sex reassignment surgery, but simply on the basis of one's belief articulated in a statutory declaration. Possible ‘sex’ categories would not be limited to ‘male’ or ‘female’, but could be a description of one's own design. Children would also be free to change their recorded sex, with parental support.

So what does this mean for the future of sex-based rights in Victoria? What are the implications for access to women’s single-sex facilities, such as domestic violence shelters, and for women’s sports? Finally, why haven't women been consulted about these changes?

Join us for a night of discussion at the University of Melbourne

Thursday, August 8, 7pm

Hear from experts on this topic, including Holly Lawford-Smith (University of Melbourne), Virginia Mansel Lees (La Trobe University), Hayden Opie (University of Melbourne), and Bronwyn Winter (University of Sydney). Chaired by Nina Vallins (Victorian Women’s Guild).

”Victoria's proposed bill would present a radical shift in how we currently recognise sex and gender, who can access women's spaces and women's opportunities, and therefore how we safeguard women's rights. We say that such radical change should not be allowed without meaningful consultation with the community. The Governments of Scotland and New Zealand both recently deferred similar legislation due to concerns from women's groups and a recognition that they had not properly consulted with affected communities. Victoria similarly needs to allow further scrutiny and a chance for women's voices to be heard,” Nina Vallins from the Victorian Women's Guild said.

“We believe that with proper consultation, we can provide the right protections for the gender identity of transgender people, without negatively affecting the sex-based rights of women and children."

For more information and to arrange interviews contact:

Nina Vallins, Victorian Women’s Guild 0416 669 870