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Sex Discrimination Commissioner assists Federal Court in Tickle v Giggle for Girls Pty Ltd case

Sex Discrimination
Content type: Media Release

Today, representatives from the Australian Human Rights Commission, including the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, will attend the hearing of Tickle v Giggle for Girls Pty Ltd at the Federal Court.

Roxanne Tickle was refused access to a social networking app described as being ‘made for women by women’. Ms Tickle alleges that she was refused access because she is a trans woman, and that this amounts to discrimination on the ground of her gender identity. 

The case is currently before the Federal Court after Ms Tickle’s complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2021 could not be conciliated.

The role of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner in this case is as a ‘friend of the court’ (amicus curiae). The Commissioner will seek to assist the Court by providing submissions about the meaning, scope and validity of relevant provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). The Commissioner is not a party to the proceeding and has not made submissions about whether Ms Tickle was in fact discriminated against.

In 2013, there were changes to the Sex Discrimination Act and it became unlawful under federal law to discriminate against a person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. This is the first time that a case alleging gender identity discrimination will be heard by the Federal Court.

“Every individual, regardless of their gender identity, deserves dignity, respect, and equal treatment under the law,” said Sex Discrimination Commissioner Dr Anna Cody.

“Sex and gender identity discrimination are interconnected, not mutually exclusive. My role as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner is to address all forms of discrimination and advance gender equality in line with the Sex Discrimination Act and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

“Gender equality means equal treatment of all genders, including trans people. When we recognise trans rights, we recognise the worth and dignity of every person and reject the harmful stigmas and stereotypes that lead to discrimination. We stand with trans communities and will continue to advocate for their rights and the rights of women. No one in Australia should face discrimination or exclusion based on their sex or gender identity.

“We must acknowledge and address the real barriers to enjoying human rights that face all women – including trans women – in Australia. Women continue to confront these systemic barriers, such as higher rates of domestic, family, and sexual violence, wage gaps, overrepresentation in unpaid care work and limited access to healthcare. “We must focus our efforts on dismantling these barriers and creating a society where all women, including trans women, can thrive.”

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