June 17, 2020

Open Letter to PM: No Rollback on Trans Rights #NotInMyName

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Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing this letter as a charity that supports women with convictions, with 11 years of experience in providing services for women. We are asking you not to scrap proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act which would extend the rights of trans people.

The Gender Recognition Act review in 2018 was clear: people support improving the lives of trans people. The government must follow this overwhelming mandate for change by giving trans people full rights. Trans people deserve to be accepted as their true gender. They deserve dignity, safety and respect.

Please know that Working Chance would never close our doors to anyone who identifies as a woman, whether trans or cisgender. We know that trans women are statistically far more likely than other women to suffer violence, harassment and abuse, and to require the kind of services that we offer. We know that trans women do not pose a threat to cisgender women. In fact, the rights of cisgender women are strengthened when trans women's rights are strengthened. Policing gender in single-sex spaces has a negative impact on the freedoms of all women.

There is absolutely no evidence that we are aware of that predators have used the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 to gain access to women’s spaces. Self-identification, whereby any trans person can state their true gender on their birth certificate without the need for arduous bureaucratic procedures, has been implemented in a number of countries and has not affected women’s safety. No countries that already implement self-declaration, including Iceland, Portugal, Malta, Norway, Denmark or Belgium, has seen a rise in attacks on women in single-sex spaces.

Cutting off trans women from single-sex spaces of which they are of acute need is not on the agenda of feminist charities, organisations or support services. It is on the anti-trans agenda.

Nobody who truly believes in equality would seek to enforce the segregation of trans people and the introduction of further obstacles to all women.

Please do not accept Liz Truss's proposals. Protect trans rights.

Kind regards,

Working Chance