In their letter to the Minister for Women and Equalities on the benefits of an amendment to the Equality Act 2010 on the current definition of ‘sex’, the EHRC say that their role is to “protect the rights of everyone in Britain”. A human rights body should be ensuring that protections for all people, across characteristics, are equal and clear in order for us all to live in a fair and equitable society.
A change in the Equality Act to define sex as ‘biological sex’ would not achieve these aims.
Clarifications to those areas which are currently unclear to ensure protection and access to support for women and minority genders are achievable without a change to the definition of sex. The EHRC’s recommendations to explore an amendment for biological sex would only result in increased policing of gender and gender expression in order to be enforceable.
The role of the EHRC should be to protect the rights of everyone, not to portray the rights of one group as being in opposition to another. The EHRC should be helping to diffuse the current transphobic public narrative – which consistently suggests that trans rights and women’s rights are irreconcilable – by making recommendations to support and further the rights and protections of everyone. This is achievable. Women and LGBT+ people have fought alongside one another for each other’s rights for decades. We will not stop now.
Published: 5th April 2023