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Sex-based Rights

When Sex Matters

Sex is whether you are a male or a female. There are times when sex doesn't matter very much, for instance working at a computer, writing a poem or taking a math test.

There are times when sex does matter. Male and female people have different bodies because of the different roles they play in reproduction. Males and females respond to medications differently, males tend to be larger and stronger on average, and there are some patterns of behaviour particular to each of the sexes.

Single-sex spaces

Most people, male or female, feel differently about being seen by the opposite sex when they’re undressed than they do about their own sex. These feelings are normal, real and valid. Nobody should be made to feel ashamed of them.

Single-sex spaces matter to both sexes, but especially to women, because of our physical vulnerabilities. WRN believes that single-sex spaces such as change rooms, womens’ refuges and prisons must be guaranteed to remain honestly single-sex

Australian Women Have Sex-based Rights

Australian women have sex-based rights in law and society.

These include

  • the right to privacy and dignity while undressed

  • the right to female-only toilets and change rooms

  • the right to female-only accomodations and intimate care in hospitals

  • the right to female-only prison wards

  • the right to reproductive health care, perinatal and breastfeeding support

  • the right to female-only sport

  • the right to female-only contests and prizes

  • the right to call ourselves lesbian and access lesbian-only spaces (if same-sex attracted)

  • the right to freedom from sex discrimination

  • the right to maternity leave

  • the right to call ourselves women, meaning adult human females

Our sex-based rights are important.

Women's Rights Network Australia is a signatory to the Women's Declaration International. The declaration sets out 9 articles that describe women's sex-based rights.

  1. Reaffirming that the rights of women are based upon the category of sex

  2. Reaffirming the nature of motherhood as an exclusively female status

  3. Reaffirming the rights of women and girls to physical and reproductive integrity

  4. Reaffirming women’s rights to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression

  5. Reaffirming women’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association

  6. Reaffirming women’s rights to political participation on the basis of sex

  7. Reaffirming women’s rights to the same opportunities as men to participate actively in sports and physical education

  8. Reaffirming the need for the elimination of violence against women

  9. Reaffirming the need for the protection of the rights of the child

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Download our A5 Flyer on sex-based rights

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