On Thursday 6th December 2018 the Equalities and Human Rights Committee will take evidence from Christina McKelvie, Minister for Older People and Equalities. The Committee used Facebook and Twitter to request questions from the public, a selection of which will be put to her.

Here are the questions I asked via my Twitter Account @Scottish_Women

Will the Minister ensure new guidance is issued to Public Authorities to make it explicitly clear when single sex exemptions within the EqAct 2010 can be applied eg the Scottish Prison Sevice guidance recommends prioritising prisoners Self Identified Sex over Sex #AsktheMinister

Is the Minister concerned that girls will be negatively affected due to the widely issued LGBT school guidance advising that trans pupils, who are going through a male puberty, are permitted to share PE changing facilities & compete against them in school sports? #AsktheMinister

During the Govt’s review of the regulations on the Public Sector Equality Duty, will the Minister considering what recourse ordinary members of the public have when public authorities fail to properly consider the protected characteristics within the EqAct 2010 #AsktheMinister

Despite the Govt announcing programmes focusing on tackling Violence Against Women & Girls, the public rely on their Local Authority to voluntarily engage with them, will the Minister considering making these initiatives compulsory and ensure the LA’s compliance? #AsktheMinister

Is the Minister concerned that Women’s Sports in Scotland will be negatively affected now sporting bodies allow transgender people who have the disproportionate physical benefits of increased strength and stamina, achieved via a male puberty, to compete? #AsktheMinister

What are the Ministers views that the sexual harassment & sexist bullying of schoolgirls were not explicitly named within the Respect For All anti-bullying guidance? Can she guarantee these incidents will be accurately recorded & monitored, in order to tackle it? #AsktheMinister

Is the Minister concerned that the new legislation for women’s representation on public boards (which has included male self identifying transwomen) has failed to recognise the core reason that women are discriminated against is because of their female sex? #AsktheMinister

Will the Minister, like her UK counterpart, announce an inquiry into researching why there has been an unusual and rapid increase of over 1000% in recent years, of girls and young women who are experiencing gender dysphoria? #AsktheMinister

Does the Minister worry that when collecting data via Census and Household Survey, no longer asking a question on Sex resulting with inaccurate statistics, will be incompatible with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. #AsktheMinister

Why is the Scottish Government’s priority on gender and not sex? Sex is a protected characteristic within the EqAct2010, whereas both gender and gender identity are not, nor do any legal definitions exist for them. #AsktheMinister

At the very least women are relying on our Elected Representatives to acknowledge the validity of our concerns. Here’s hoping that any question that gets asked will get an actual answer. Tune in live on Thursday morning via Facebook.

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Thank you, Susan Sinclair

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