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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

July 24th 2020 - Boxing NZ in women's corner

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