The law must work for women

This is the speech that Lucy Masoud gave at the London meeting, A Woman’s Place is Resolute. She spoke on our second demand.

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.

You can see the film of her speech here and read the live tweets at #WPUKResolute

 

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Speech

 

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.

The law, as it is stands has six main areas set out in the Equality Act that acknowledge the need for women-only spaces, services, roles and activities, and makes it lawful to exclude males ( including trans woman).

In all cases the use of an exemption must be a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim. 

Those six areas where the law says it is lawful to exclude men, including trans women are

  • Single sex services such as single sex counselling sessions for say survivors of sexual abuse,
  • Occupation requirements such as jobs, which require a female, rape councillor
  • Communal accommodation such as female only hostels
  • Gender affected activities such as female only sports, ie boxing, weighting
  • Single characteristic associations such as a woman’s book club
  • Women-only short lists such as a woman-only short list for a local election

As you can see, the law, as it is, clearly allows for women only spaces and services, –

But of course there also have to be provisions for the trans community as well. Just like us, they can be victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and just like us trans men and women require specialised and specific health provisions. These services should be fully funded, available and easily accessible.

I like many others would happily campaign and fight for these services to be available to the trans community. But these services should not be at the expense of female services, nor should they become part of female services.

They must be equal but separate, they must be readily available to those who need them thereby protecting the safety and dignity for all.

Yet what we are seeing happen across the country are companies and organisations (large and small) not providing single sex services or not enforcing single sex exemptions. Instead the law is being shamefully and deliberately ignored and women are suffering.

Daily, we hear of stories where schools have removed all female only toilets in favour of mixed-sex ones and, regularly, we hear of clothing stores being forced to allow men to share changing areas with young girls. Worse still, we hear of male rapists being placed in female prisons.

So why and how is the law allowed to be flouted so easily?

The answer is simple:

  • When you have a situation of trans activists screaming transphobia at any business or organisation who offer female-only spaces, then you end up with those same business and organisations abandoning the law for fear of receiving bad PR.
  • When you have male rights groups such as Stonewall lobbying the government to remove the single sex exemption from the Equality Act altogether, then you end up with councils and local authorities willing to turn a blind eye to the removal of female-only spaces.
  • And when you have the mantra of ‘Trans Woman are woman’ forced down your throats then we end up with an environment of pure male entitlement and privilege; an environment where the law is ignored and men believe they can take away the hard fought for rights of women simply so they can feel validated.

So if the law of single sex exemptions is already being ignored and disregarded, imagine how much worse it would become if there was any loosening of the law, or if self ID was to become a reality.

We know that female-only spaces and services are already being forced to include men, and we know of female-only spaces and services that are being forced to close down due to funding being withheld because they refuse to accept men. This is hugely detrimental to women and women’s health.

The law is not being enforced to protect women and girls. This needs to change

The law needs to be tightened up and it needs to be enforced; enforced to ensure that female-only spaces and services in this country are protected. Business and organisations should face fines or legal action if they knowingly, and deliberately flout the law.

And rather than cut funding to female-only services, instead these organisations should be encouraged, and given more financial help to enable them to support woman within the community.

There needs to be clarity around the law so that women know the law is on their side, and that they are entitled to have female-only services.

We need clarity around the law so that women know they are entitled to exclude men from single sex spaces.

Once there is clarity, then woman will feel the confidence in demanding female-only spaces and confronting those who seek to threaten it.

This confidence to confront is essential in situations where a man seeks to enter a female only space.

Almost this time last year, I spoke at another WPUK meeting in central London. At that meeting I described the decades long battle female fire-fighters had gone through in their fight for female-only facilities of fire stations.

At that same meeting I told you how I felt that if the current push for mix sex facilities in the name of inclusion were to continue, then fire services across the country would use it as an excuse to save money by only providing mix sex facilities on fire stations.

At the time I gave that warning, those in favour of the GRA proposals, including many people within the fire service and the fire brigade union, scoffed at my claim, saying I was scare mongering and such a thing would never happen.

Well it didn’t take long for my so-called scare mongering to be proved correct.

In November last year, the Scottish Fire and Rescue service announced they would be agreeing a new standardised layout for all fire stations in Scotland.

At the same time, they announced they would be rejecting all single sex facilities such as toilets, dormitories and showers, and instead will only adopt mixed sex facilities

When challenged on this, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s justification for their decision was that trade unions had recently adopted the GRA proposals on self-ID.

So there you have it, a direct and actual consequence of what happens when we do not protect female only spaces and we allow the law to be ignored.

What we have ended up with, is the largest fire brigade in this country, being allowed to rip the rights away of female fire-fighters.

 So let what has happened in Scotland be a lesson to all the pro-self ID politicians, trade unionists, political commentators and the woko haram brigade. They say that women’s rights aren’t under attack; that we women have nothing to worry about; that we are on the wrong side of history…

Well, we women are under attack. Let know one tell you otherwise

But it will be down to women like us, women who know our politics and who know our feminism, that will never allow our rights to be sacrificed simply to indulge the gender identity mafia.

Unlike others, we do not use threats, bullying or intimidations to make our arguments; instead we use our sisterhood and our we use our strength.

We will work within the law to ensure the law is protected and we will win

Thank you

@luluchops1

Links to all the speeches are here:

1. Women have the right to self-organise

2. The law must work for women

3. An end to violence against women

4. Nothing about us without us

5. Sex matters