News and editorial

Women Uniting media statement: Are women not extraordinary?

Women Uniting media statement: Are women not extraordinary?

Are media outlets continuing to ignore women led organisations in favour of those led by men?

Last Friday (19th June), several news outlets, including the BBC and the Independent, gave prominent coverage to the formation of a cross party political group, representing a number of political LGBT+ groups, calling it ‘an extraordinary move’. Members of the group said, “This is unique”

The group had responded to reports that the Minister for Women and Equalities was going to publish her long awaited response to the consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act. read more

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Govt commitment to women’s sex-based rights welcomed

Government commitment to women’s sex-based rights welcomed

Labour women say Government move supports proposal in Labour Manifesto – and urge Labour leadership to listen to women before responding. Full statement below…

The Labour Women’s Declaration Working Group, on behalf of our nearly-5,000 signatories, welcomes the trailed forthcoming announcement of the Conservative government to abandon plans for new gender recognition legislation (as reported in the Sunday Times 14th June 2020). The proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) would have enabled people to change their legal sex without any of the current safeguarding, such as diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria’ and two years of living in their preferred rôle. read more

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We stand with J K Rowling

We stand with J K Rowling

It has been difficult to persuade some people, including the Labour Party leadership, to listen to concerns about women’s sex-based issues. The nearly 5,000 signatories of the Labour Women’s Declaration, the women’s pledge signatories of other political parties, and people in many other group and individual contexts, have been patiently working to explain why biological sex matters, and to ensure that women are able to speak about our experiences as a sex, not a ‘gender identity’. We have been ignored, silenced, blocked on Twitter, abused online and in real life. We have not given up. read more

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Our letters to Keir Starmer

Our letters to Keir Starmer

Back in April we wrote to new Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer to raise the issue of women’s sex-based rights and offer him a briefing on the subject. To date, we’ve received no response. This is our follow up letter – sent to him by email on 9th June. (As you can see it’s a briefing in itself!).

Dear Keir,

Women’s Sex-Based Rights

We write on behalf of our 300 founders and 4,447 signatories to our Declaration. (We also invite you to read some of the 452 comments made by signatories to the Declaration which will give you a flavour of the strength of feeling amongst members and supporters on this subject.) We are all Labour supporters, most of us are Party members, many are elected officers, councillors and three are elected MSPs. Several are active members of your own CLP. Our concern is the Party’s approach to ‘gender identity’ and women’s sex-based rights. We wish to raise a number of issues with you to which we request and expect a response. read more

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Lesbian Visibility Week – Part 2

The lesbian battle against s. 28

For Lesbian Visibility Week here’s the second of our articles in which supporters of the Labour Women’s Declaration share their personal experiences of being a lesbian on the Left.

Let me take you back to 1988, the year Section 28 of the Local Government Act received Royal Assent. Section 28 prohibited Local Authorities and schools from ‘promoting homosexuality’ and also prevented them from funding lesbian and gay initiatives. The Act received a majority vote in Parliament on 24th May. Margaret Thatcher said: “They think they have an inalienable right to be gay.” The day before, four lesbians disrupted the BBC 6 O’ Clock News – shouting “No to Section 28!”. The 9 O’ Clock News then reported the story. (The lesbians spent some time in a police cell before being released.) In February of that year, another group of lesbians got into the House of Lord’s public gallery. Two of them abseiled into the chamber, using a washing line they’d bought in Camden Market. 1988 was also the year children’s book Jenny lives with Eric and Martin became famous as a threat to the State and was banned from schools, along with a book for teenagers called Young, Gay and Proud. read more

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Letter to Liz Truss about single sex spaces

Letter to Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss

Under the banner of Women Uniting, Labour Women’s Declaration group has joined with all the other political party women’s pledge groups, plus Fair Play For Women and FiLiA, in signing a letter to the Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss.

It comes in response to a commitment she made, as part of giving evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on 22 April, to protect single sex spaces. You can read a transcript of her statement in full here.

Here’s a flavour of the Women Uniting letter: “We are writing to you as groups of women organising, from across all political parties and none. We hope you will be able to build cross-party consensus on this area where clarity and respect is needed for all service users as well as frontline staff.” read more

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