Sall Grover, ‘Tickle v Giggle’ to tour New Zealand, 4-10 July

The New Zealand Women's Rights movement supports Sall Grover

Sall Grover, the defendant in a case being heralded as the biggest legal case for women’s rights in decades, will be in New Zealand from 4-10 July for a series of public meetings.

‘Tickle v Giggle’, now before the Australian Federal Court, was brought by a man who identifies as a woman, Roxanne Tickle, who claims he is being discriminated against on the basis of his ‘gender’ after ‘Giggle for Girls’ founder Sall Grover denied him access to her female-only app.

Women’s rights advocate Jill Ovens says the case is about women and girls having the rights they need for their dignity and safety, and protecting these rights in law.

Although the Australian Sex Discrimination Act 2013 (the SDA) defines ‘gender identity’, the Act does not define ‘sex’, leaving the Australian Federal Court to determine the question of “what is a woman?”, Ms Ovens says.

Meanwhile the New Zealand Law Commission is reviewing the protections in the Human Rights Act 1993 (the HRA) for transgender and non-binary people, and those with innate variations of sex characteristics.

A Bill seeking to add ‘gender identity and expression’ into the HRA, originally sponsored by Elizabeth Kerekere and drawn from the ‘biscuit tin’ in August 2023, defines ‘gender identity and expression’ as meaning “the self-identified gender, name, pronoun, appearance, mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person, with or without regard to the person’s assigned sex at birth”.

“If the law says any man can ‘be’ a woman just because he says he is, what does this mean for laws that protect women and girls?” Ms Ovens asks.

At issue are:

  • the status of females as a sex class in relation to sex self-ID laws in both Australia and New Zealand,
  • the status of females as a sex class in relation to sex self-ID laws in both Australia and New Zealand,
  • the consequences of adding ‘gender identity and expression’ to the Australian SDA in 2013 and what that means for proposed changes to the New Zealand HRA,
    commitments by both our countries to CEDAW (the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women).

Public meetings are being held in

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