We started Woman’s Place UK in September 2017 to ensure women’s voices would be heard in the consultation on proposals to change the Gender Recognition Act. We had 5 demands and we didn’t expect the campaign to last more than 3-4 months.
Thanks to the support and actions of thousands of people all over the UK we had a big collective impact on the debate and, while we don’t expect to hear the results of the consultation before February 2019, we know that the government has heard the voices of thousands of women.
At the same time, the debate has exposed the poor state of women’s rights in the UK. We have decided therefore to develop a broader campaign on the foundations we have built.
But there are other battles we need to fight too.
So we have made some New Year Resolutions to help us broaden the campaign in 2019:
1. Women have a right to self-organise
Women have a right to self-organisation, to speak and to be heard free from fear of abuse, threat or vilification in public and political discourse and in academia. This should be actively facilitated by those with civic or legal responsibility for promoting equality.
2. The law must work for women
The law must be strengthened to ensure that all women who want or need single sex spaces (including toilets, health provision accommodation, prisons, sports, sexual and domestic violence services) are able to access them without resorting to extraordinary measures. Service providers should be supported in offering such services through legal and financial means and clear guidance must be issued on the exercising of such rights.
3. An end to violence against women
Government must make the end to male violence against women and girls a priority. Sustainable funding for independent women-led services for women subjected to VAWG must be fully resourced by central government alongside the implementation of statutory relationships and sex education in all schools.
4. Nothing about us without us.
All organisations, committees and politicians speaking on issues of material concern to women to demonstrate that they have widely consulted the women they represent and serve and that such consultation informs their action and their policies.
5. Sex matters
Rigorous collection and analysis of sex-based data and high-quality research must be central to the development of any services, policies or actions which address women’s needs or which challenge sex discrimination and inequality.
We will continue to organise public meetings and work to make sure women’s voices are heard in all matters of concern to them.
Thank you for everything you have done to build the campaign in 2018.
Wishing all of us the best for 2019.