Ahead of the third stage debate and vote scheduled for next week at the Scottish Parliament on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill 2022 (GRRB), we have submitted a briefing to MSPs today to highlight our support for the reform, which will make it easier for a trans person to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).
This reform will also allow Scotland to follow in the legislative footsteps of Argentina, Denmark, Malta, Norway, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Ireland and more closely align Scotland’s gender recognition process with international human rights standards and best practice.
Over the past weeks, there has been a wide national and international debate which saw women’s and human rights organisations in Scotland, including us, writing to the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Women and Girls restating our support for Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill.
In our response, we reiterated that we do not share the concerns Ms Alsalem had presented about the Bill. We expressed surprise and disappointment at the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women’s intervention on the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which was made without consulting human rights groups or specialist violence against women organisations in Scotland – especially leading frontline Scottish charities delivering specialist services to women survivors of violence.
We believe that this reform does not infringe upon the rights of women and girls, nor does it erode protections or rights for women survivors of gender-based violence in Scotland. Instead, the GRRB has backing from the Scottish Human Rights Commission and many key organisations that fight to protect the rights of women and girls, including Scottish Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland and Engender. The Bill, which sits firmly within the powers of the Scottish Parliament, does not change the Equality Act definition of a woman and it does not alter provisions regarding access to single-sex spaces for women and girls.
We believe the path to the realisation of human rights for women and trans people are deeply interconnected. We must dismantle the systems that perpetuate violence against all of us, rather than pit the rights of one against another.
We believe it is now time to pass this Bill.
Read our briefing to MSPs for Stage 3 of the GRRB here: Stage 3 Briefing GRRB
Read our joint letter to the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Women and Girls here: Joint Letter to UNSRVAW