I fully agree with the Equality Act 2010 and the need to provide single-sex spaces - we all need safe spaces sometimes. And I fully understand and respect that women (both natal and trans) have a human right to both privacy and dignity in intimate situations.
But spaces must be allocated fairly on a case by case basis by the service provider.
So I quote the exact words from the Equality Act 2010 here - "proportionate to a legitimate aim".
But with trans rights under attack from the extreme right-wing and trans hostile officials like Liz Truss and Kishwer Falkner, it is predictable that one of those rights under threat could be trans women's exclusion from women's wards in NHS hospitals.
So in December 2021, I made Freedom of Information requests to TEN of the largest hospital trusts in England.
The ones I approached included the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust with 2,700 beds, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust with 1362 beds and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust with 1187 beds.
I have made other inquiries, too, which today, I will not publish - there is certainly more to this story than a short blog!
The question I asked was this:
Under the Freedom of Information Act, please could you supply the following information relevant to the period 1st April 2020 to the 31st March 2021:
(1) How many natal female inpatients complained that a trans woman inpatient was being cared for in the same ward?
And with my enquiries about to conclude within the next couple of days or so, I can confirm that to date, not ONE hospital has confirmed they have had a SINGLE complaint. This includes NHS Hospital Foundations serving Manchester, Hull and Exeter.
So in this blog, I would challenge Liz Truss and Kishwer Falkner - and that challenge is very simple.
If you seek to exclude trans women from where we have been treated for well over a decade, perhaps much longer - why?
Because in straightforward language - there is not a problem so in consequence NO LEGITIMATE AIM.
And I will make that clear in a report that will be sent to the Women & Equalities Committee and will be shared online.
There should be no transphobia either within our government or indeed within the EHRC.