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International Women’s Day Q&A with Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development NOW CLOSED TO NEW QUESTIONS

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-19 14:29:32

[EDITED BY MNHQ: Questions have now been collated and sent over - new questions may not be answered]

Hello all,

We’re very pleased to announce a Q&A with Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities.

Please post your questions on this thread by lunchtime on Wednesday March 6. We’ll send on a selection to the Minister and we will post up written answers from Penny on this thread this coming Friday (March 8), International Women’s Day.

In her role as Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt oversees DFID’s work ending extreme poverty overseas, including programmes focused on girls’ education and women’s health. DFID has been in the news recently, facing calls for its budget to be spent partly on encouraging projects that would aid British business overseas, and for it to be folded into the Foreign Office instead of being a standalone department.

In her role as Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny is also responsible for work including gender pay gap reporting and possible changes to the law concerning gender recognition.

Penny campaigned for Brexit in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum and is a Royal Naval Reservist. She has previously been Minister of State for Disabled People and Minister of State for the Armed Forces.

Please add your questions for Penny here by Wednesday lunchtime. And although it’s not a live webchat please stick to the spirit of our webchat guidelines and keep it civil.

If one topic is overwhelmingly dominating responses we might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. Rest assured we will ALWAYS make the recipient aware that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Thanks
Justine

Nb existing members will be able to post on this thread. Thanks.

TresDesolee Mon 04-Mar-19 15:12:53

Hello Penny. Do you wholeheartedly support the UK spending 0.7% of GNP on aid?

Thanks

Caffeinesolution Mon 04-Mar-19 15:24:37

Hi, I'd like to ask which of DfID's achievements you are most proud of? Thank you.

howonearthdidwegethere Mon 04-Mar-19 16:11:58

How is the UK government working to ensure women’s access to single sex spaces and services in the UK?

WaddIelikeapenguin Mon 04-Mar-19 16:14:26

On international women’s day we can all agree that single sex toilets are important to allow girls to access education all over the world - why is the safety & dignity of single sex toilets & changing rooms being taken from girls in schools in the UK?

Lemoncakestrudel Mon 04-Mar-19 16:55:26

are you embarrassed to have supported Brexit when it is looking sure to destroy our country?

VickyEadie Mon 04-Mar-19 16:56:06

How do you feel about the efforts to prevent women from speaking about issues that concern us, meeting in groups and the no-platforming of invited women guests at the request of other speakers by the publicly-funded BBC?

Lumene Mon 04-Mar-19 16:57:41

Penny Mordaunt promised to do a mumsnet webchat about the GRA reform proposals specifically. Why didn’t this happen?

OVAgroundWOMBlingfree Mon 04-Mar-19 17:04:25

With the nation facing an obesity crisis, it is agreed we should all move more and ideally participate in sport to keep healthy and combat a variety of conditions. Keeping this in mind what is the government policy with regards biological men taking female spaces on teams or competing against women in sport? This slipping into the mainstream is something that will seriously prevent women, especially minorities groups, joining in with sports.

Katvonfelttipeyebrows Mon 04-Mar-19 17:13:01

Hello Penny
You announced an enquiry into the numbers of young girls experiencing gender dysphoria, after the huge and concerning rise (4000%) was revealed in the press.
Could you tell us more about this research and when the findings are likely to be released?
Are you worried that gender (sex) stereotypes pushed by trans lobby groups such as Mermaids, are harmful to women and girls?
What is your response to the recent Panorama Programme in which Professor Carl Heneghan (Oxford University, Evidence based Medicine) found there was significant problems with the way we treat trans children and informed consent is not possible.
Do you not think, based on the evidence, the NHS needs to delay any medical treatment of people with gender dysphoria until they are adult?
Thank you.

OvaHere Mon 04-Mar-19 17:29:57

Hello Penny,

At the beginning of the GRA consultation period on self ID you announced the starting point for the consultation was Trans Women are Women.

I was concerned enough by this, to the extent it felt like the outcome of self ID was pre- decided, to write to both yourself and my local MP about it at the time.

Have you reconsidered this statement in light of growing concerns in key areas such as women's sports, prisons, healthcare, crime statistics and safeguarding?

Thank you

DonaldTwain Mon 04-Mar-19 17:31:26

Are women still women, or are we now menstruators, cervix owners, womxn or whatever other label the confused choose to apply to us?
If we are still women, as I hope you will agree we are, how do you propose to make that clear and stop the imposition of these ludicrous, reductive, insulting labels?

ChickenonaMug Mon 04-Mar-19 17:39:07

As a girl I was subject to sexual abuse and rape perpetrated against me for many years by an adult male relative. Single sex spaces have been absolutely vital to enable me to intergrate in society, especially as when I experienced the regular sexual harassment etc that is a common experience of very many women.

Penny Mourdant, what are you doing to ensure that the needs of girls and women are always and explicitly considered whenever a single sex space is changed to a mixed sex space by the fact that legal or biological males are now able to enter and use it?

I am now, at some cost to myself, having to speak up to try and protect abused girls and women from policies that will cause significant harm to their wellbeing, recovery and social integration. Btw I met with my MP who repeatedly minimised the impact of sexual abuse on the mental health of girls and was only concerned with the needs of transgender people. He is very keen for the government etc to introduce self id GRA proposals and he was not willing to express my concerns to the relevant government departments.

Datun Mon 04-Mar-19 18:58:28

Hi Penny

I have a very easy question re sex self id.

I take my toddler to toddler swim every week, and I usually get her and her brother changed in the communal area, due to space.

If there is a man there identifying as a women, who is looking at my children, whilst rubbing moisturiser on his thighs after his swim, what can I do?

He is breaking no law. Indeed he is breaking no rules. It's perfectly normal for women to do this.

98% of sexual crime is committed by men. The overwhelming majority of paedophiles are men. Self ID, indeed, the whole notion of choosing your sex, ignores this entirely.

Are you of the opinion that I have to accept this changing room situation?

Thank you.

adultFemaleElf Mon 04-Mar-19 19:11:09

Dear Penny

Do you think that it is right and fair that a person who was born male and has gone through male puberty, can compete in girls’ and women’s sports?

Ineedacupofteadesperately Mon 04-Mar-19 19:26:47

It's generally acknowledged in the development sector that single sex toilets are important for girls to maintain access to education.

www.independent.co.uk/news/world/single-sex-toilets-unesco-un-international-womens-day-period-a8244776.html

Do you agree with this, and if so why are your policies reducing access of Uk girls to spaces where they can deal with menstruation in privacy away from male bodied peers (however they identify)?

Also, why are there so many lies around this? Mixed sex should be labelled as such - why label toilets as girls and boys if they're really mixed sex (or masculine and feminine)?

Will you commit to ensuring that my 8 year old daughter and all other girls in the UK have the right to toilets which are provided only for females (people who will menstruate) as they go through puberty?

LumpySpacedPrincess Mon 04-Mar-19 19:34:15

Hi Penny,

Girls mental health is at an all time low, violence against women is at an all time high. Porn and technology has added an extra layer of difficulty to women and girls lives, upskirting, revenge porn etc. Why, with all of this going on, are you removing women and girls sex based rights and protections?

Single sex areas become mixed sex, the word women is replaced by bodily functions, sport becomes mixed sex. Women's officers are male, lesbians are under pressure from male lesbians. Do you think women deserve anything just for them?

HawayMan Mon 04-Mar-19 19:35:25

Hello,

What is a woman?

Thank you.

Cismyfatarse Mon 04-Mar-19 19:39:12

If The House of Commons was 50% men and 50% transwomen is that equality?

Lettera Mon 04-Mar-19 19:40:41

Haway

You pipped me to the post!

CatandtheFiddle Mon 04-Mar-19 19:58:43

Hi Ms Mordaunt. What do you think of academics being censored or disciplined for being critical of transactivists' attempts to erase women & girls from any kind of gender critical feminism? I am one such academic - I can't speak about this in public or under my real name - why have you persisted in a set of policies which has allowed this to happen?

GCAcademic Mon 04-Mar-19 19:59:36

Hello Penny

I know you have said that the government has no plans to remove the single sex exemptions in the Equality Act. However, it is clear that the case-by-case basis is not working for many of those who need single-sex provision in situations where they are vulnerable or need privacy. And many organisations are failing to take account of it altogether. To give an example, I work at a university which allows students to self-identify their gender (there was no consultation of female staff and students on this) and which also occasionally places students in shared (twin bedroom) accommodation, allocated on the basis of their declared gender. So a female student could potentially find herself sharing a bedroom with a male-bodied student. And she would be in breach of the university's code of conduct on respect and inclusion if she voiced this as being a problem for her.

Do you have plans to provide clearer guidance around single-sex provision in this kind of situation, so that those of us who are female can be sure that we will not be sharing sleeping spaces with males at university, in refuges, and on hospital wards? It is pointless saying that the exemption exists when organisations are being pressured by powerful and aggressive lobbies not to invoke it.

Bluestitch Mon 04-Mar-19 20:02:47

Hi, do you have any explanation for how a policy was allowed to exist that enabled a male bodied, legally male rapist to self ID as a woman and be placed in a women's prison? Do you acknowledge this to be a human rights abuse of the female prisoners and what actions are being taken to ensure that this never happens again? Thanks.

SonicVersusGynaephobia Mon 04-Mar-19 20:02:54

Hi Penny,

I know you came to The Gender Debate from the side which prioritises the rights of males-who-identify-as-women over women & girls, at least initially.

But - would you say, as a feminist, that you cannot help but be impressed by how ordinary women have organised and driven this conversation into the mainstream, despite threats & abuse, when all our elected representatives refused to listen, or were too scared to touch it?

Does it, as a woman, make you feel proud of how resourceful, intelligent and brave women are? That we keep going, keep pushing, when something so important as the safety of vulnerable women and girls is at stake.

Even though I appreciate we have rather caused you a headache, it's pretty impressive, isn't it? And an example in itself of why we need more ordinary feminist women in politics. Look what we have achieved, with no funding, no political support, and hardly any media support.

Women are amazing, aren't they.

Imicola Mon 04-Mar-19 20:03:01

What are your views on the distinction of remit between DFID and the FCO, and the suggestions that DFID should be incorporated back into the FCO?

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