Women need ‘more say’ on Scots trans reform

Women are calling on Scotland’s First Minister to conduct a proper impact assessment of proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

They worry that the consultation did not do enough to assess how the rights of women and girls would be affected by allowing individuals to self-declare their legal sex.

Former Scottish Labour MSP Marlyn Glen is among those proposing that women ‘need more say’.

‘Not consulted’

In a letter to The Times, the 25 women including academics, women’s rights activists and child welfare expert Maggie Mellon said that the Government’s limited Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) was “poor quality”.

They said: “We believe the lack of proper EQIA has been damaging to the debate about reform of the GRA and urge the government to make sure one is now carried out, before introducing any legislation into the Scottish parliament.”

“Many individuals responding to the consultation raised concerns about how the proposals could affect the practical operation of the single-sex protections under the Equality Act 2010.”

Other responses to the consultation noted that, “no national women’s organisations in Scotland were consulted around the development of the consultation paper.”

Women’s spaces

Last month a survey revealed that NHS health boards allowing male doctors to self-identify as female would deter women from accessing life-saving medical care such as smear tests.

The Scottish Government said: “Any bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 would be accompanied by an equality impact assessment.

“We will consult with women’s groups, and other interested organisations, as part of the process.”

Children’s rights

Women and Girls in Scotland have also conducted its own Impact Assessment finding that controversial schools guidance on transsexualism has not “fully taken into account the needs of other protected groups of young people”.

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