THE LEGAL FIGHT-BACK IN SCOTLAND BEGINS
IAIN Lawson’s blog is full of information and facts on many topics, not least independence, and it has also shown support for Scottish women’s plight under the onslaught of the GRA Reform legislation that has been put to one side for now, but which is certain to make its appearance again after the 2021 Scottish election, especially if there is a large win for the SNP.
As most people who are avid blog followers know, but, as much of the wider population of Scotland does not appear to know, there is now a serious threat to women’s very existence from the proposed GRA reform and ‘hate crime’ legislation, which may seem as if they have been set aside, but that is actually far from the case, and a big win for the SNP, in 2021, will almost certainly see them revived with a vengeance
I have little doubt that many people will have read something about these issues but not joined up the dots, as it were. Like many, I initially had the greatest sympathy with, and empathy for, trans people’s predicament, and I still do in so far as their being able to live their lives in peace and safety, as they choose, is concerned. I cannot see how that is incompatible with women’s sex-based spaces and rights being preserved and respected; without opening up the debate, however,women will lose the ground they have gained over a hundred years of concerted campaigning and effort.
What is happening now does not simply involve trans people in gaining an extension to their pre-existing 2004 GRA Act rights, but can do no other than cancel out women’s sex-based spaces and rights if the erosion of the terms of the 2010 Equality Act continues apace. Women’s sex-based spaces and rights rest on the undeniable fact of women’s historical oppression having been centred on their sex, precisely because they are biological women. This fact is incompatible with a redefinition of ‘women’ to include biological males.
The women’s website, forwomen.scot is carrying a Crowd Justicepage where members of the public and members of the group may pledge whatever they can afford to help pay for a court case to be held next month. The mission statement is as follows:
“… We are challenging the Scottish Ministers over the redefinition of “woman” in the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 which we believe is outside the legislative competency of the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998 and in contravention of the Scottish Ministers’ duties under equality legislation… The new definition includes some men, while, remarkably, excluding some women. This cannot be allowed to stand… The Equality Act 2010 states that a woman is “a female of any age” and maintaining this definition is key to maintaining women’s rights and protections in law…
“… We are concerned about the consequences of these proposals to our sex based legal rights and protections. Many organisations are acting as though it is already law, bringing in policies that encourage men to enter women’s and girls’ spaces. Examples include hospital wards, refuges, toilets, changing rooms, school and girl guide overnight accommodation, hostels, university rooms, and prisons. Medical treatment and research, crime statistics, programmes for women in politics and STEM subjects, and women’s sports are also adversely affected… We believe: – sex is immutable and is a protected characteristic;
– women are entitled to privacy, dignity, safety and fairness;
– women’s rights should be strengthened… “
Anyone who can pledge even a small and modest amount will be doing a great service to women in Scotland because this court case will open up the issue as never before and force debate in what is an extremely contentious area of law. The website states:
“… Although disappointed the matter could not be resolved informally, For Women Scotland have instructed solicitors Balfour + Manson to lodge a petition to proceed with a judicial review. This has now been registered and accepted by the
Court of Session… “
I am advised the links to the crowdfunding page is not working. Suggest you Google For Women crowdfunder and donate there.