DfE reviews advice that ‘erased girls’ after backlash

The Department for Education’s (DfE) advice on free sanitary products for “students who menstruate” has been changed after a backlash from women.

The words “girls” and “women” only appeared in the footnotes of the original document which referred to students, young people or learners “who menstruate”.

A DfE spokesman told The Times: “The wording is being amended and we are urgently reviewing all of our pages to that effect.”

‘Ludicrous expressions’

Helen Joyce, of women’s campaign group Sex Matters, said the language “reduces girls to their bodily functions” with “ordinary words” replaced by “ludicrous expressions”.

The NHS has similarly been under fire for sidelining words such as ‘women’ and ‘female’ in online guidance on cancer.

Web content addressing ovarian, womb, and cervical cancer has been rewritten in gender-neutral language, prompting accusations that it is an attempt to ‘erase women’.

Previously stating that ovarian cancer is “one of the most common types of cancer in women”, the website now claims that “anyone with ovaries can get ovarian cancer, but it mostly affects those over 50”.

Also see:

BBC News backtracks on ‘assigned female at birth’ instead of ‘women’ after pushback

NHS ‘ditches women’ from cancer guidance

Tampax blasted for saying men can have periods

Govt: ‘Women should not be erased from public language’

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