All transgender people should have the right to live their lives free from violence & discrimination. In certain circumstances transgender people have needs that differ from those of members of the sex with which they identify. In these circumstances a clash of rights arises. If the proposed changes go ahead, abusive men will be able to access women’s shelters and prisons. Click to learn more.
Transgender people should be treated with dignity and respect. However there are a series of recommendations in the report which risk unintended consequences for the safety and wellbeing of women and girls. They mean that violent male offenders could demand access to women only spaces and services such as refuges, rape crisis centres and prisons simply by claiming to identify as a woman, whether or not this was the case. This is already happening in the UK.
The Committee’s report called for the removal of all three gender criteria, so that anyone could easily become a member of the opposite sex, without the need for any form of social or medical transition. Effectively, any man could claim transgender status to gain access to sex-specific spaces and services whether or not he “dresses as” or genuinely thinks of himself as a woman, and questioning his motives would be classed as a hate crime under the Equalities Act 2010.