I have been thinking about all my campaigning over the last year or so, the different areas I have covered and what got me started on this path. The LGBT Youth Scotland guidance was published near the end of 2017 and having school aged daughters it immediately caught my attention. Around the same time the Scottish Government’s Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 consultation opened.
Reading both the school guidance and the government’s proposed reforms I was immediately struck by the obvious erosion of sex based rights for women and girls in Scotland. Where was the public outrage, where were the media reports on this hugely important issue, what were the women’s organisations saying about this – all valid questions that I’m sure everyone reading this has asked at some point. The truth was the general public had little or no awareness about this and the very few who were raising concerns by asking questions were quickly shouted down and labelled as bigots.
As the Scottish consultation closed the Gender Representation on Public Boards Bill was going through its final stages in parliament and ‘woman’ was redefined to include self identifying women.
My campaign continued regarding the LGBT Youth Scotland Guidance and after numerous FoI requests it was revealed that no public authority had carried out any Equality Impact Assessments prior to endorsing this controversial guidance. This was reported in various media outlets.
I continued writing about the issues that were directly detrimental to schoolgirls and women as a result of the public sectors adopting an ‘inclusive’ approach in their practices and reviewing their policies without paying due regard to their sex based protections.
Over the last year this has included:
- School guidelines being drafted that include telling 5 yr olds to choose their gender.
- Scottish Government’s LGBTI Inclusive Education Working group proposed ‘LGBTI inclusive education’ to be extended into primary schools, mandatory headteacher & initial teacher training, embedded into Curriculum, School Inspectors evaluations and new compulsory legislation.
- Increased reports of sexual harassment of schoolgirls
- Increased reports of self harming amongst schoolgirls
- Increased reports of schoolgirls with Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria schoolgirls.
- respect For All anti-bullying approach and the omission of sexist bullying and sexual harassment of schoolgirls
- Scotland’s national anti-bullying organisation, co-managed by LGBT Youth Scotland, has heavy bias towards homophobic and transphobic bullying despite clinicians reporting “although there had been a perceived increase in bullying at schools, there had been no noticeable increase in bullying highlighted to the clinics.”
- Raising these issues directly with Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary with the remit to progress GRA reforms through parliament
- UK Government Review of Gender Recognition Act 2004 consultation
- Women & Equalities Committee Sexual Harassment of women and girls in public place report
- Women & Equalities Committee Inquiry into Enforcing the Equality Act: the law and the role of the EHRC
- Trans Groups Lobby UK Government to abolish single sex protections
- Scottish Local Authorities replacing Sex with Gender
- Scottish Household Survey changed question from Sex to Gender Identity
- Scotland’s Census Bill to introduce a non-binary Sex question for 2021 Census
- National Records of Scotland’s lack of consultation with women and question testing
- Trans Lobby groups tactics for changing legislation
- Women and girls sports in Scotland
- Trans Lobby groups influencing policy changes
- Women’s Prisons
- ‘Gender Neutral‘ mixed sex toilets
- Scottish Government prioritising Gender over Sex
- National Women’s Organisations no longer upholding Sex as protected status
- Submitted written evidence to parliamentary Committees
- Scrutinised countless policies, guidance, legislation and reports
- Submitted numerous Freedom of Information requests
- Compiled evidence and fact based reports of findings
- Identified my Campaign Aims
- Established Local Grassroots Women’s Groups
- Created website www.scottish-women.com
- Created Information Sheets and Template Letters
On top of writing blogs and raising awareness on Social Media, I have met, spoken or engaged with so many more offline, including Councillors, MSP’s, MP’s, Local Authorities, Media, Children’s Charities, Scottish Prison Service, Women’s Organisations, Parliament Committee, National Records of Scotland and the First Ministers National Advisory Council on Women and Girls.
The most overwhelming contact has been from the 100’s of women from all across Scotland who share my concerns, expressing feelings of isolation not knowing who they can turn to for help or what can be done to stop it. Every single one of these women has been let down by the public sectors with the erosion of their sex based rights; and the apparent ease with which it has been done is a horrifying realisation of just how regressive Scotland really is.
I have been committed to campaigning on a full-time basis, with no funding or other source of income and this work has taken a huge amount of time, effort and personal sacrifice. Ideally none of us should be needing to do this as it should be getting done by the organisations who receive government funding to uphold women’s rights and the public authority’s whose duties demand it. This normalisation of women’s unpaid labour continues on with women being required to stand and fight for our own rights to be maintained. It is shameful that this unfair burden has came from the highest levels of our society. And, if this situation wasn’t bad enough, it has all been done against a backdrop of hateful abuse and harassment.
I’d like to think that all my work has been worthwhile, has made an impact and also that my blog has been a valuable source of information for many others. I plan to continue with my campaigning and if you would like to contribute supporting my aims, then please consider offering your support by either making a one-off donation using a credit or debit card, or alternatively by setting up a monthly donation via PayPal, click here to donate.
Many, many thanks
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Thank you for all your support, Susan Sinclair