Scot Govt attempt to redefine ‘woman’ to be challenged in court

Campaigners have been granted a judicial review over a Scottish Government move to redefine the meaning of “woman”.

For Women Scotland (FWS) have taken legal action against the Government for including men who identify as female in a law designed to address the number of women on public boards.

FWS claim that the definition of “woman” was altered in the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 following pressure from the Scottish Trans Alliance.


A spokeswoman for FWS said: “It should not be possible for Scottish Government to redefine protected characteristics in discrete legislation nor undermine UK equality law.

“Governments at Westminster and Holyrood have, shamefully, ignored UK law and left ordinary women with the task of defending our legal rights at personal and financial cost.

“We object to the wholesale redefinition of women, which was done at the request of a lobby group, and without public consultation or Parliamentary scrutiny.”


In September, the Westminster Government officially dropped its plans to make it much easier for people in England and Wales to change legal sex.

Equalities Minister Liz Truss decided not to proceed with proposals to allow people to ‘change sex’ by ‘self-declaration’ and announced only minor changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

In Scotland, similar plans to introduce ‘self-ID’ were shelved in April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A Bill is not expected to be brought to Holyrood before next year’s election, but a Scottish Government spokesman said the impact of Truss’s announcement on Scotland was being “carefully considered”.

Also see:


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