This Declaration has been initiated by members of the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) who believe in the right to advocate for women as a sex. Women’s rights, based on the reality of biological sex, have been eroded within the GPEW, as elsewhere in society. We believe the consequences of this disregard for the protected characteristic of sex are extremely damaging for women and girls, especially lesbians, mothers and those who are disabled. There now exists a chilling atmosphere of censure and fear within the Party, which affects not only free speech but also free thought.
Green Declaration For Women’s Sex-Based Rights
We members and supporters of the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) are fully committed to the Party’s Core Values to address the climate and ecological emergencies and transform society for the benefit of all and the planet as a whole.
We believe that democratic participation and accountability should be our organising principles and are deeply concerned that voices speaking up for women’s hard won sex-based rights are being silenced in the Green Party.
We know that globally women, as a sex, are disproportionately affected by climate change and environmental degradation, and that their empowerment is essential to our work as environmentalists.
We believe that:
- Women and girls are subject to discrimination and oppression on the basis of their sex, hence sex is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act (2010).
- Sex-based language is vital in identifying and calling out this oppression, and women and girls must retain the right to the use of language specifically referring to female anatomy, for the purposes of dignity, safety and health.
- Sex should not be confused with gender. Sex is a biological reality and is both the site of and the excuse for women’s oppression. Sex should therefore be added at Item 6 of the GPEW’s Core Values, in line with the Equality Act (2010).
- Women and girls have the right to maintain their sex-based protections as set out in the Equality Act (2010), including female only spaces such as changing rooms, hospital wards, sanitary and sleeping accommodation, refuges, hostels and prisons. Women have the right to refuse consent to males being in these female-only spaces or males delivering intimate services to females such as washing, dressing or counselling.
- Women and girls have the right to: Protection against any discrimination; freedom of belief; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly (Articles 7, 18, 19 and 20 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
- Women and girls have the right to organise themselves, as a sex, across a range of cultural, leisure, sporting, educational and political activities.
- Lesbians are, by definition, women who are same-sex attracted and are entitled to organise and create spaces based on that definition.
- Women and girls have the right to discuss policies which affect them, without being abused, harassed or intimidated.
We reject all attempts to undermine or limit the rights of women to self-organise and we call on, and expect, the GPEW and the wider green movement to actively support these essential freedoms.
Andrea Carey Fuller
Jo Rosney Lee
Lin MacCallum Stewart
Rebecca Van Tassell