Sunday , 26 January 2020

Women and Equalities Committee launch transgender equality inquiry

Inquiry into equality for transgender people
Inquiry into equality for transgender people launched

The Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons has announced it is undertaking an inquiry into equality for transgender people.

The inquiry will consider how far, and in what ways, trans people still have yet to achieve full equality; and how the outstanding issues can most effectively be addressed.

The deadline for written evidence is 21 August and oral evidence sessions will be in September. The committee will be consulting more widely on its future work and priorities later in September.

Committee Chair Maria Miller said: “Many trans people still face discrimination and unfair treatment in their work, schools, healthcare and other important services. Transphobia and hate crimes are a cruel reminder that we have still have a great deal to do to achieve true equality for everyone.

“I hope that trans people will feel able to share their experiences with our inquiry, so that the committee can make recommendations for improving people’s lives.”

The committee invites evidence submissions regarding the following issues in particular:

  • terminology and definitions, and the availability and reliability of data, relating to the trans community;
  • the relationship between the Government Equalities Office and other government departments in dealing with transgender equality issues and how the UK’s performance compares internationally;
  • the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and whether it requires amending;
  • the aspect of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 which is referred to as the “spousal veto”;
  • the effectiveness of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to trans people;
  • employment and workplace issues (including in the Armed Forces) affecting trans people;
  • transphobia (including the portrayal of trans people in the media) and hate crime against trans people;
  • issues affecting trans people in the criminal justice system;
  • issues concerning the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, including the operation of NHS Gender Identity Clinics;
  • access to gender reassignment treatment under the NHS;
  • trans people and wider NHS services;
  • NHS services for trans youth;
  • issues concerning trans youth in the education system; and
  • issues concerning trans youth and social care services (including looked-after children).

The Committee welcomes submissions from individuals as well as organisations. For guidance on submitting evidence, please see the note below. Detailed guidance on giving evidence to committees is available here.

In the autumn the committee will be actively seeking a wide range of views about its future work programme. Further details will be announced in September.

Miller explained: “The committee has a very broad remit, covering age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation. We are keen to hear views on specific issues which the committee should consider in its future work, and we welcome ideas from everyone.”

Maria Miller’s position regarding LGBTI equality has been previously questioned when in 2007 she he opposed a move to allow ministers to introduce regulations banning discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.  However she says that since then she has changed her views and became more supportive of LGBTI equality.

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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