Women’s rights and safety organizations condemn the targeting of trans women by political candidates
More than fifty women’s safety and gender equity organizations have joined forces to speak out against the recent targeting of trans women during the federal election campaign.
In a joint statementkey organizations have denounced the division caused by political candidates, such as Warringah Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, who have attacked the rights of trans women to participate in sports.
“In an attempt to gain prominence and attention, some political candidates are trying to foster division by attacking the rights of trans women to participate in sports as themselves,” the joint statement read.
“Across the country, community and professional sports have already welcomed trans women and girls onto their teams with proper guidelines to ensure an equitable course for everyone.
“Stirring up hostility, uncertainty and misunderstanding harms trans women and children, preventing their full contribution and participation in our communities. It takes us away from a community that values inclusion, dignity and respect; a community where everyone can feel and be safe.
“As organizations advocating for gender equity and women’s safety, we denounce this attempt at division. We are united in our support for the inclusion, dignity and respect of all women.
Fair Agenda executive director Renee Carr said the fact that leading women’s rights and safety organizations have come together to speak out against these divisive attempts is a “pretty resounding condemnation of Scott Morrison’s priorities for women” this federal election.
“If politicians and candidates really care about women’s rights, they should focus on taking action for our safety – including funding expert-led violence prevention education in schools, reforming the harmful family law system and adequately funding the services needed to intervene with men who use violence, or on whom women rely for their safety and recovery,” Carr said.
Bonney Corbin, from the Australian Women’s Health Network, said women’s health, safety and empowerment were for all women, including trans women.
“Women across Australia suffer long-term health impacts, including disability, as a result of gender-based violence. In order to prevent gender-based violence, we need to address the drivers of violence and strengthen the factors such as gender stereotypes, racism, ableism and misogyny,” Corbin said.
Meanwhile, Danielle Warby, co-founder of Siren: A Collective of Women in Sport, said trans women in sport were not an issue raised by those concerned with building equality for women’s sport. .
“I could touch on dozens of issues that have a real impact on women’s participation and equality in sport – including the controversial awarding of sports grants under the Morrison government and the lack of due diligence towards women and girls in some elite sports programs. What’s not being raised with me? A desire to keep our trans friends and teammates out of our teams,” Warby said.
Emma Iwinska, from Ending Violence Against Women Queensland, said: “We are for everything women”.
“Women – whether we are trans or not – are victims of violence every day in this country. Trying to target trans women in sports because an election is on the horizon is not only hurting our communities, but it’s deliberate misdirection in relation to the issues so many women are facing right now.” said Iwinska.
“We need decisive action, not divisive rhetoric.”
Joint statement signatories include Full Stop Australia, End Rape on Campus Australia, Domestic Violence NSW, Ending Violence Against Women Queensland, Fair Agenda, Women’s Electoral Lobby, YWCA Australia, Equality Australia, Transcend Australia, Plan International Australia, Siren: A women in the sports collective, Human Rights Law Centre, National Council of Jewish Women Australia, Women with Disabilities Australia, Older Women’s Network NSW, Harmony Alliance and Transgender Victoria, and many more. You can see the full list here.
You can read the full joint statement and add your own support here.
The positions of the candidates on the security program proposed by the experts of this election are available on Fair Agenda at www.voteforsafety.com.au