News and editorial

Joint statement on Govt responsibility to uphold women’s sex-based rights

Labour Women’s Declaration is proud to stand in solidarity with the women who have campaigned for women’s sex-based rights across political parties and in the wider women’s liberation movement.

Together with the women of  Woman’s Place UK, FiLia, Fair Play for Women, the Institute of Feminist Thought, Women Uniting, SNP Women’s Pledge, WEP Women’s Sex-Based Rights Caucus, Green Feminists, the Conservative Women’s Pledge, and the Liberal Democrats Sex-Based Rights Declaration we call on the government to ensure that women everywhere benefit in everyday life from the provisions made in the Equality Act 2010 to counter sexism and violence against women and girls, particularly with respect to single-sex spaces and services for women and girls. We know that this matters greatly to women, and we will continue to fight for women’s sex-based rights. read more

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Labour Peers speak up for women

Today’s urgent questions in the House of Lords saw three Labour Peers, speak up for women. Lord Triesman, Lord Young of Norwood Green and Lord Hunt of Kings Heath all expressed their satisfaction that the government has responded sensibly to the GRA consultation. Lord Triesman spoke out against the vilification of women such as JK Rowling who express the view that women’s rights can be exercised on the basis of biological sex, while Lord Young and Lord Hunt  pressed the government on the question of what guidance it will issue to ensure organisations  understand and implement existing law in relation to the single-sex exemptions in the Equality Act. Many organisations and institutions have already changed their policies and practices in anticipation of  legal changes and on advice that misinterprets the law, so it is crucial that the government acts to clarify how the exemptions can be applied and properly enforced. read more

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Thank you Marsha De Cordova

“What will the Minister do to ensure that all public bodies including the Government Equality Office and the Equality & Human Rights Commission produce statutory guidance which is in keeping with the legislation?”

Sincere thanks to Marsha De Cordova,  Labour Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities, for asking this crucial question in support of Labour’s 2019 manifesto pledge “Ensure that the single-sex-based exemptions contained in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision” read more

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LWD response to GRA parliamentary Q&A session

Labour Women’s Declaration working group, representing those who aim to uphold women’s sex-based rights within Labour and Labour policy, were disappointed to follow the ‘urgent questions’ session with Liz Truss and hear so many MPs, from all parties, attack the Minister for Women and Equalities regarding her statement on Tuesday about changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

Many of the MPs who spoke repeated that ‘trans rights are human rights’, as if human rights were being denied by not permitting individuals to change their legal sex and acquire a new birth certificate through nothing more than self-declaration. Changing legal sex is a serious matter and not one that should be undertaken lightly, so it is reassuring that Truss’s statement and the government’s response to the consultation recognises this, by acknowledging the need for checks and balances whilst also being cognisant of the need for compassion and kindness in the system, in recognition that these are real lived experiences. read more

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Response to Government GRA Statement

No substantial reform of the GRA process 

Labour Women’s Declaration welcomes the decision not to proceed with changing the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to permit self-identification as the only prerequisite for the granting of a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). The safeguarding of transitioning individuals demands proper checks and professional expertise, as is intended by the current provisions of the Act. Of course, only a small proportion of those who declare themselves transgender currently apply for a GRC, but the expectation of a legal self-identification route has led to policies across many institutions and businesses being devised on that basis. read more

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What you can do to support our campaign

Announcement by Liz Truss on the Gender Recognition Act Consultation and Reform   

It is possible that an announcement will be made on 23rd September. When and if Liz Truss makes an announcement we will issue a statement in response which we will publish here on our website, Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Actions we urge you to take right now!

  1. Use our briefing – speak to people– friends, family, colleagues, fellow Party and Trade Union members. Use our evidence based briefing discussions about the single sex exceptions and GRA reform. We prepared this briefing initially for MPs and Peers, but supporters have asked for copies to support them in their discussions with MPs and in their CLPs and Trade Unions. It has a useful executive summary for people in a hurry.

Read the executive summary and/or download a full copy here.

  1. Invite us to speak to your CLP or Women’s Forum – Email: labourwomensdeclaration@gmail.com.
  1. Do you live in a Labour constituency?
    In the past month we have sent a separate letter and our briefing to all female and then all male Labour MPs. If you would like to amplify our message by forwarding our letter and briefing with a personal note from you to your local MP, please email us at: labourwomensdeclaration@gmail.com.
  1. Are you voting in the Labour NEC Elections?
    In July, we wrote to the 124 candidates for the NEC elections who had supplied an email address, asking them three questions about where they stand on women’s sex-based rights. We have received 25 responses. Most have been positive and supportive of women’s sex-based rights, and several candidates have signed the Declaration as a result of us our approach. In fact more candidates have signed our Declaration than have signed the LCTR trans pledge which calls for the expulsion of party members who wish to discuss their concerns about sex-based rights. We are not publishing their replies in order to protect candidates, especially women, from the abuse which comes with standing up for women’s rights.
  1. Register for our first webinar – Tuesday 20 October 7.30 pm

“Labour Women’s Declaration – speaking up for women’s rights in the Labour Party” read more

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