WEP WOMEN’S SEX BASED RIGHTS CAUCUS
Who are WE? Why now?
WE are a collective of Women’s Equality Party Members who are concerned by the roll back of our sex-based rights.
WE are concerned by the direction of the party that WE founded. A political party built with our funds, with our labour, with our passion, informed by our feminist principles. WE founded and built WEP, a political party originally formed to focus upon the structural subjugation of women and girls.
Our movement formed in 2019. Since then our 'Declaration of Sex Based Rights' has collected over 900 signatures from fellow WEP members and supporters.
Since the Conservative government announced a public consultation of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, government departments and NGOs have been adopting policies of sex self-ID. This has been done without due process and in direct contravention of current law. Sex self-ID directly undermines the rights of women and girls as written in law. A failure to uphold these rights is a failure to uphold legal responsibilities to protect women and girls. As a result we have seen male sex offenders in women’s prisons, the end of women’s single sex sports, the skewing of sex-based data, and the inclusion of males in rape crisis and DV services. This has been done without the consultation or inclusion of women, without due risk assessment, impact assessment and without due process. The Conservatives have overseen this with their trademark disregard for the impact of their policies on women and girls.
After two years of promises, WEP have announced their own consultation of sex self-ID. They will be looking at the impact of sex self-ID on the seven policy areas.
The process will include a randomly selected 'members assembly' who will design the remit of the consultation. This will translate into some kind of membership consultation in the autumn. WE will watch this space!
The WEP consultation and what came before...
In late 2018, a motion was brought to conference. This motion was pro sex self-ID. This motion was not passed in a clear majority agreement for the motion to be 'referred back'.
The motion was deeply problematic in many ways. One such issue was its proposal to remove the ‘spousal veto’. The spousal veto (introduced by the coalition government 2013) refers to the legal right for a spouse to divorce their partner if their partner changes their legal sex. The idea that WEP would be passing a motion that would compel a woman to be married against her will, and remove her right to divorce is extraordinary. A key example of how poor quality debate translates into poor quality policy.
Since the Conservatives put self-ID on the table, WEP has maintained an uneasy silence as headline after headline have exposed the many ways that sex self-ID puts women at risk, and how it undermines our legal rights and protections.
Where WEP should have been leading and facilitating respectful, fact-based discussions, a deafening silence resounded. In their absence, half-fact, poor quality information and misleading information was allowed to flourish. Any woman seeking a discussion or clarification was vilified, misrepresented and silenced. Concerns were framed as bigotry, asserting of our rights and language became acts of hate.
WEPs inability to stand for balanced respectful debate, placed and continues to place women at risk.
'Woman' is not a costume, it is not a feeling, it is not an identity..."
#debate #sexnotgender #sexmatters
WEP CONSULTATION: OUR AIMS & PLEDGES
Empowering Women & Girls
WE will work to ensure the consultation is balanced and fair.
WE will fact check information that is presented as evidence to the assembly and membership.
WE will provide high quality, fact checked resources and blogs as part of our evidence base, and as a point of reference for members.
WE will amplify the voices of women who do not feel, for many reasons can speak safely or publicly on this issue.
WE will promote compassionate, respectful and evidence based discourse.
WE will provide a glossary of terms for those navigating this complex area.
WE stand for quality policies that embed the sex based rights of women & girls.
WE stand for policies that recognise and respond to the unique discrimination faced by women & girls because of our sex.
WE will respect the confidentiality of any woman who brings concerns to us.
WE will support women in the disciplinary process who have been targeted because of their feminist views.
'If you don't understand, ask questions. If you are uncomfortable asking questions, then say you are uncomfortable and ask them anyway..' -Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
#sexmatters #sexnotgender #debate
*This website is a work in progress. WE will be developing pages for each WEP policy area and how sex self ID impacts upon it. Please see regularly for updates.*
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Speak to other women in your branch & the wider party. This is YOUR party, these are YOUR rights, this is OUR future.
Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter & our blog for news & campaign updates.
The rights of women and girls are dependent upon good policy. Good policy makes good legislation. Good legislation makes a fairer and kinder world for women & girls.
Please buy your ticket for this year's Women's Equality Party conference. This year's conference will be online from Thursday 18th - Sunday 21st October 2020.
Join us in ensuring sex based rights are embedded in WEP policy.
Women's Human Rights Campaign (WHRC)
Join the 10,000 signatures, 200+ organisations from 118 countries united to reaffirm their commitment to women’s sex based rights in international law.
All donations are gratefully received.
All funds will go to:
Further subsidise conference tickets for low income WEP members.
Basic campaign costs (printing, domain name, campaign sundries).
Any surplus funds will be donated to Daughters of Eve.
Daughters of Eve is a non profit organisation that works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from female genital mutilation (FGM).