Wales is on the verge of making a statutory change to the definition of ‘woman’, which some argue will have devastating effects on women’s groups including lesbians.
The Welsh Assembly Government want to encourage more women, but also men who Self ID as women, to occupy the Senedd as politicians.
In laymen’s terms there is a quota for more female politicians to be involved at the Senedd and under the plans albeit whereby Welsh Government claim the wording of the draft plan has errors, men who self identify as women would be considered for election and to be able to stand as women even though they are not biological women.
The leaked draft of the Bill includes a clause to allow biological men to stand on female only quotas designed to ensure half of members of the Senedd, the Welsh Parliament, are women.
This has been challenged by the Women’s Rights Network as “Gender Self ID by the back door”.
Cathy Larkman, from Women’s Rights Network Wales, said: “It is shameful that they (Welsh Government) are high-jacking legislation that should benefit women and increase female participation in political life, to embed a toxic and misogynistic ideology.
“We believe that the intention of the Welsh Government is to introduce gender self-identification and put it on a statutory footing.
“We believe this is the first step towards a full self-ID bill which would have serious implications for women and girls in particular as it would impact on single-sex services and spaces such as changing rooms, intimate care, hospital wards and domestic violence services.”
The Welsh government said the draft Bill’s wording was incorrect, but did not deny the premise of the plans.
A number of women’s organisations in Wales have asked to meet with the Minister for equalities and social justice, Jane Hutt but to date they have not been included. Some have taken to protesting outside the Senedd but this has attracted what the campaigners describe as violent abuse and threatening behaviour towards them from those who champion the rights of Trans People.
Some of the spokespersons for the groups express incredulity that for women who have fought so long and so hard for equality they now find themselves the target for abuse of people within the wider LBGTQ+ community. Many were pioneers for equality and gay rights and forged a path for tolerance in a time when being a homosexual was against the law. Some claim that the fight for equality will receive a hammer blow if Welsh Government plans set out in a draft report to include men who identify as women on the list for candidates to become an MS at the Senedd gets the green light.
In the first of our podcasts, which delves into the debate surrounding gender critical views we spoke to Liane Timmermann of Get The L out UK.
About: Get the L Out UK
Get the L Out UK is a lesbian radical feminist activist group aiming at creating an autonomous lesbian community and an uncompromising lesbian visibility that is not controlled by men’s desires and visions of who we are.
We strongly argue that the only way to end anti-lesbianism is to get the L out of the “GBT community” and build women-centred alliances with all lesbians and feminists willing to end male domination and women’s oppression.
We stand against any kind of misogynistic politics and systems that prioritise men’s interests: queer politics and transgenderism, right-wing politics, left-wing politics, patriarchal & religious institutions, men’s rights activism, racism & imperialism, and capitalism.
Our organising is fundamentally horizontal. This means that we have no leader and that there is no hierarchy between the organisers.We are witnessing how transactivism erases lesbians, and silences and demonises lesbians who dare to speak out. We will not be silenced! Lesbians exclusively love & desire women!
The following is an interview conducted on Sunday (Nov 26) 2023.
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