Engender's response to the Gender Recognition Act Reform Bill consultation
This week, Engender has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the draft Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. Although the actual consultation is very short, comprising just 5 questions focusing on technical details of the Bill, we took the opportunity to set out some of our broader thoughts about the Gender Recognition Act.
Our headline finding is that the proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act will not negatively impact on women’s equality and rights.
Because we recognise that some elements of the public discussion around reform have been polarised and rife with inaccuracies, we were keen to use our consultation response to set out the work Engender has been doing to inform our position on this.
Our response also analyses the way in which the proposed Gender Recognition Act reform will interact with women’s equality and rights including the Equality Act 2010, and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Our headline finding in our consultation response is that reform will not have any adverse effect on the capacity of the Equality Act 2010 and CEDAW to protect women from discrimination and advance women’s equality and rights.
We are pleased to be able to share, alongside the consultation response, a paper we commissioned from Professor Nicole Busby, Professor of Equality, Human Rights and Justice at the University of Glasgow. This longer paper sets out in detail the protections against discrimination on the basis of sex and gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010, and how that interacts with questions around sex and gender. We summarise some of the points from Professor Busby’s analysis in our consultation response.
Finally, we answer the specific questions as set out in the Scottish Government consultation - on the requirement for applicants for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) to “live in their acquired gender” for 3 months; for a 3 month ‘reflection period’; for changes to the age limit for applications, and on the Scottish Government’s draft impact assessments.
Engender has consistently expressed the view that the current process for acquiring a GRC is overly complex, expensive and burdensome for the applicant, and often based on stereotypical views about men's and women's interests, roles, and behaviours. We support the principles of reform, and particularly the positive impact that this will have on trans women’s mental health.
You can read our answers to the specific questions in our consultation response here: Engender's response to the Scottish Government Consultation on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill
Read Professor Busby's paper here: On the Basis of Sex: Protection from discrimination on the grounds of sex and gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010
You can also read our response to the Phase one consultation here: Scottish women's organisations response to the Scottish Government consultation on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.
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CEDAW: a superhero for women in Scotland Often referred to as the ‘women’s bill of rights’, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) is the UN’s human rights treaty devoted to women; it spells out in detail women’s human right to equality and non-discrimination, which states that have ratified it must then act to realise.
CEDAW: How can women's rights be better realised in Scotland? The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) is a UN Convention which was signed by the United Kingdom in 1981, and ratified in 1986.
Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Stage 1 Debate: Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill This is a briefing for MSPs ahead of the Stage 1 debate on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.
Engender response to the Scottish Government consultation on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill We welcome this opportunity to respond to a consultation on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, because of links that have been made between reform of the application process for a Gender Recognition Certificate and women’s equality and rights.
Frequently Asked Questions: Women’s Equality and the Gender Recognition Act Engender, along with Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Zero Tolerance, Equate Scotland, Close the Gap and the Women 5050 Campaign, have produced a document with frequently asked questions about women's equality and the Gender Recognition Act.
ON THE BASIS OF SEX: Protection against discrimination on the grounds of sex and gender reassignment under the Equality Act 2010 This paper was written by Professor Nicole Busby, Professor of Equality, Human Rights and Justice, University of Glasgow.
Scottish Women's Sector Response to the Scottish Government Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Gender Recognition Act This is a joint response from national women's equality organisations Close the Gap, Engender, Equate Scotland, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Women's Aid and Zero Tolerance to the Scottish Government's consultation on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (2004).
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