October 10th 2020 - World Rugby Adopts Transgender Guidelines
World Rugby have announced they will be adopting the Transgender Eligibility Guidelines that were released for consultation in July, but for international rugby only. They have made some minor amendments, but the guidelines are largely as originally published, which supports the call from many females around the world to keep males out of women’s sport.
“World Rugby conducted a thorough research and consultation process and they should be commended for it, but more crucially they should be commended for standing by their findings despite the immense pressure put on them by activists and lobbyists who would have them disregard women’s safety,” says Save Women’s Sport Australasia’s New Zealand spokeswoman Ro Edge.
World Rugby’s new policy will see a change from their current rules, which allowed trans women to play women’s rugby if they lowered their testosterone levels for at least 12 months (in line with the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines) to a new policy that would only enable trans women to play in touch rugby competitions and not in any contact form of their game. Trans men will also be required to sign a waiver to play in the men's game, given the added risk to their own health and safety.
These new rules only apply for international competitions and the New Zealand Rugby Union - having rejected the World Rugby guidelines initially – now has the chance to consult with local experts and the community. Save Women’s Sport New Zealand has made it clear to the NZRU that female players must be given the opportunity to share their thoughts without the fear of social reprisals.
Women’s rugby players all over the world must now look to their own national rugby organisations for answers as to why if World Rugby can prioritise safety for females who play internationally, why do female players at home not also deserve safety and fairness?
“Sporting organisations now have access to the knowledge gained by World Rugby and ignoring the injury risk to women would be criminal,” says Ms Edge.
“This is just the beginning of the reckoning that all sporting codes will have to face where they must weigh up whether the entitlement of males who identify as women to be included outweighs the right of women to safe and fair sport.”
October 10th 2020 - Female pushback over trans sport rules
Save Women's Sport NZ has expanded to Save Women's Sport Australasia in response to the Pride in Sports Guidelines released last week. Despite women and girls being the group most adversely affected, they were not consulted.
Pride in Sports is a charity, a private organisation, that have taken action with wide-sweeping societal impact without any public consultation, community debate, media scrutiny or parliamentary oversight. In short they are operating outside the democratic process while implementing policies that affect over half the population.
The Pride in Sports Guidelines seek to profoundly change our conceptual understanding of women's sports and the purpose for which they were created - because males have a significant biological advantage over females, and this puts us at a substantially higher risk of injury and concussion.
Women and girls have the right to be consulted about policies that affect them.
July 24th 2020 - Boxing NZ in women's corner
MEDIA RELEASE: Boxing NZ in women’s corner
Wellington 24 July 2020 - Save Women’s Sport New Zealand is calling for sporting organisations to follow World Rugby’s lead and prioritise women’s safety, following the leaking of a draft proposal to ban transwomen from women’s rugby.
Boxing NZ has confirmed their support with President Steve Hartley saying, “our sport prides itself on how safe it is for participants and one of the layers of safety we encourage is even matching of participants and the division between female and male competitors.”
The draft proposal from World Rugby’s dedicated working group was leaked this week to media and women’s rights advocates from all over the world have celebrated the findings.
The Guardian reports “there is likely to be “at least a 20-30% greater risk” of injury when a female player is tackled by someone who has gone through male puberty. The document also says the latest science shows that transwomen retain “significant” physical advantages over biological women even after they take medication to lower their testosterone.”
“The crucial difference in this proposal as compared to existing policies on this issue, is that World Rugby are listening to women and prioritising safety and fairness,” says Ro Edge, spokeswoman of Save Women’s Sport NZ.
ACC New Zealand recently ran a campaign on the male-bias in sports research in which they discuss the need for sports organisations and health providers to prioritise women’s wellbeing by training and treating them according to their sex. ACC NZ say on their website, “women are not small men.”
Some coverage of the document leak has suggested that transwomen will be banned from the sport. However, the proposals would see World Rugby support transwomen to compete in their biological sex category.
“Everyone is entitled to participate in sport and should be encouraged to. However, no one is entitled to compete in whichever category they want. We divide sport by sex, age, and capability to ensure fairness and player safety. Now is the time for New Zealand’s sport leaders to step up and create policies guided by evidence, not activists,” says Ms Edge - ENDS –
About Save Women’s Sport New Zealand
Save Women’s Sport NZ is an affiliate group of Speak Up For Women NZ. We are part of an international coalition of women's organizations, athletes, and supporters of women in sport, which include Fair Play For Women who were involved in the World Rugby transgender workshop, and who assert that natal male athletes should not compete in female sports