Include women who don't identify as women

The introduction for the health strategy includes men who identify as women, in a way that implies that the health needs of women who do not identify as such may not be considered.  See the wording on the introductory page to understand this comment.  Men who identify as women do not have the same health needs as women in general.  In contrast women who think they are men do have the same medical and health needs as women in general.  The alternative approach would be to have a health strategy for New Zealand and include everyone.

I note that the women's health strategy petition from gender justice nz whose petition explicitly included transwomen and excluded women who identify as men.  It is not appropriate that the Ministry should be guided by this ideological approach by taking the lead of an ideologically led group whose remit specifically excluded women who identify as men from consideration.   See

Gender theory is a controversial ideology and the NZ laws that included it such as the BDMRR and Conversion Pratices Prohibition Act  were heavily contested with far greater numbers of submissions taking the view each piece of legislation had been undemocratically introduced..  To take this approach would be to create a health strategy that embeds medical and surgical incoherence and to undermine public faith in the health system as a whole.

Why the contribution is important

Hope fully this is self-evident.

by Jan_Rivers on February 26, 2023 at 09:37PM

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Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by almac February 26, 2023 at 22:04

    This submission is written by someone with a "gender-critical" ideology one that activly causes harm to transgender and non binary people, as is evident by the invalidating language.

    Rivers does however raise a good point about the needs of trans men/trans mascs/afab non binary people being exclude from "women's health". However the idea that trans feminine people who have received medical transition don't have overlapping medical needs with cisgender women seems to miss the impact that hormone replacement therapy has on the body. Ultimately an individualised approach to medicine is better than one that broadly segregates people into binary categories that are not necessarily representative of either their identities or physiologies.
  • Posted by Jan_Rivers February 27, 2023 at 00:08

    Hi Almac. The issue from my POV is that there is already extensive policy, funding and provision for the transgender community - and a detailed existing direction of travel that relate to the provision of transition medication, surgery and follow up care which, as the Ministry suggests, is not the case for women - it being the first ever women's health strategy.

    Further to this if the World Professional Association for Transgender Health strategy is adopted in New Zealand, as the Ministry has proposed this has further information that will extend the approach. See[…]/26895269.2022.2100644 Again there is nothing similar for women's health.

  • Posted by KBarnsley_Admin March 03, 2023 at 17:21

    Manatū Hauora is using inclusive language in development of the Pae Ora Strategies and wider system transformation work. In line with this, the Women’s Health Strategy will use the definition of “gender” set out in Te Kawa Mataaho – the Public Service Commission’s Gender inclusive language guide.[…]/

    The Women’s Health Strategy’s gender inclusive approach recognises that both sex and gender are determinants of health. For example, trans women experience many of the same health issues as other women, and this can shape their health and wellbeing needs and outcomes. Further, some people who do not identify as women, including some gender diverse people, will also experience the health issues being considered in the strategy.

    Manatū Hauora’s website includes further information about the Women’s Health Strategy[…]/womens-health-strategy
  • Posted by JanRivers March 04, 2023 at 14:42

    Hi KBarnsley,

    Please can you advise the evidence base that was used by the NZ health system to determine that ' trans women experience many of the same health issues as other women'? I imagine there is something that will trump in importance the apparent lack of similarity in relation to health that I have observed such as the gynaecological cancers that women are subject to and which do not affect transwomen and as well as the experiences of pregnancy, breastfeeding and childbirth which similarly affect only women.

    I am aware of the recent work by Hocking et al 2022 that makes clear the benefits of policies and language that centre women in women's health issues.[…]/full but I am not aware of research that I ask for above.
  • Posted by Bluerain March 09, 2023 at 19:31

    Hi Jan. I just read the article that clearly argues that 'female' is a biological 'sexed' word, and it makes some great points. I would recommend everyone read it. Also, as a researcher, I can immediately see issues that will arise if the use of the word, 'female', loses its biological meaning. How will we know how many 'biological females at birth' there are in Aotearoa, and the discrimination that they encounter? How will we be able to focus and develop a health strategy to address their 'female' bodies and biological concerns? Being inclusive does not mean making 'female' life more difficult. I am sure that transwomen also would receive better health services, if they had their own health strategy, and 'biological females' can have theirs as well.
  • Posted by paulanz March 22, 2023 at 04:17

    Blue rain
    How will be know females
    Quite easily as noted in the census by using the simple assigned female at birth the current Dhb computers can't Handel this at the moment but it has zero effect on cis women because the default is binary

    I do agree they should seperate out the trans care from cis gender care because it will clearly show the funding shortfall for the trans community
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