Transgender Equality Report
We have written a very basic summary of the topics covered in the Transgender Equality Report, which was released by the select committee on Thursday 14 January 2016. Our round up should be helpful in giving you a general idea of the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee’s first report, but we don’t promise that it will give you a full understanding of the findings.
The evidence given either in the oral sessions or through written evidence had a direct impact on the report’s suggestions. Well done to all those who worked with the committee to bring about this landmark report. Full report available here.
The committee received over 250 evidence submissions, many of them from individual trans people. Written evidence can be found here. The committee also held evidence hearings with a wide range of witnesses. More here.
Up until now, the rights of trans people have not been recognised fully. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 is dated, and this must be updated to allow individuals to self-declare their gender. “Gender reassignment” and “transsexual” were considered as outdated terms, and the Equality Act 2010 should refer to “gender identity” when talking about the protected characteristic.
The NHS has mostly let trans people down, with many facing significant problems and delays in receiving treatment. A review of the health services across all levels must take place within 6 months. Delaying treatment for young people causes more danger than giving the necessary support. Finally, the committee was concerned with the treatment protocols of Gender Identity Services, but said it didn’t agree that the NHS should give treatment only on the basis that the patient requests it.
Building trans people’s confidence in the criminal justice system was considered to be vital, and the Government’s willingness to strengthen hate-crime legislation was welcomed. Mandatory training for police officers on transphobic hate crime was recommended and the courts must work against trans people being outed in court.
The 2011 plan Advancing Transgender Equality wasn’t implemented. There must be a new strategy that gets support from all of the government’s departments and can realistically be delivered, and this has to be created within 6 months.
- Gender Recognition Act 2004
- Age limit
- Spousal consent
- Non-gendered documents
- Prisons and probation services
- Higher education
The published report was covered by UK media namely (but not exclusively) Sky News, ITV News, Channel 4 News, BBC Breakfast, Victoria Derbyshire, Radio 4 Today Programme, BBC Radio London, FE Week, Huffington Post, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Independent. For a full list of coverage in the media, check out this comprehensive list from UK Trans Info (dating back to early 2015), including statements from individual organisations like Stonewall and Gendered Intelligence. Many trans organisations and support groups have also published summaries and comments about the report.
Check out our blog on media coverage and full Storify timeline of interviews, articles and radio appearances after the report’s release.
Follow #transinquiry on Twitter to keep up to date with discussions about the report.