Girl Guides Complaint Reply(35 Posts)
Sorry, I can't seem to find the girlguiding thread. As they are a voluntary organisation, I'm hesitant to reply using up more of their time but how can they talk about challenging gender stereotypes when they say transgendered children (i.e. those born boys who identify as girls because they like playing with dolls etc) will be allowed. And how am I meant to know if my daughter's uncomfortable re: accommodiation as their policy is for noone to know until she's away from me at camp!
Thank you for contacting us following the media interest in the past few days about Girlguiding’s policy on equality and diversity. We recently published a statement on the recent coverage which you can view on our website here.
To clarify, Girlguiding has always been a single gender organisation and is committed to ensuring that girls and young women are given a space to challenge gender stereotypes. The guidelines that have recently been mentioned are not new, but have been on our site since 2015 and were recently updated in January 2017.
Our guidelines comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 which makes clear that organisations providing single-sex services such as Girlguiding should treat people according to their acquired gender. As such, and in line with our values of inclusion, we welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman. We are for all girls, from all walks of life and we will continue to open our doors to anyone based on that principle.
There may be occasions when girls and young women share accommodation. If any young person doesn’t feel comfortable doing that, for whatever reason, I would encourage you to speak to your daughter’s leader about alternative accommodation and facilities. More private areas for changing can also be made available to any young member who requests it. In terms of safeguarding our young members, all of our adult volunteers, of any gender, are DBS checked and our volunteers attend safeguarding training.
I hope that this answers you query and thank you again for contacting us.
Information, Enquiries & Complaints Manager
Is it correct that a transgirl cannot legally be a girl as no GRC is issued under-18? Thanks.
Oh and isn't the reply also transphobic as they say "acquired gender" and haven't people had their gender all along? Sorry for all the replies. I'm a bit wound up!
There's constant mixing up of gender and sex as seems typical of these policies that are published these days. Girl Guides has always been a single sex organisation, not a single gender identity organisation.
I wonder what they'd do about a trans boy wanting to join, or a non-binary/agender child who was biologically female?
I think what causes confusion is that the gender identity part of the act applies from the moment someone makes their gender identity known. This link explains it quite well:
I don’t know where they are getting their legal advice from regarding the Equality Act but it’s completely wrong. Organisations can exclude transgender persons from single sex services if it’s reasonanlbke to do so (proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim) Organisations can also exclude transgender from single sex accommodation. They are CHOOSING to do so. Why??????????
Future I don’t think a child can have the protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ as you have to be at the very least proposing to undergo some kind of medical transition to be covered by the Equality Act as it is currently drafted.
They have gotten the law completely wrong here
I think you could argue that they could be perceived by others to be of a different gender to their sex due to how they present. The act covers that as well as the situation where it is known that someone is undergoing or proposing some form of gender change.
Not really because you would have to believe that the person “is undergoing is proposing to under go or has undergone” medical treatment.
Even if they were covered however they can still lawfully be excluded under the EA exemptions
I don't think there has to be a medical process, just a process of transition. It says in the document that I linked to that it isn't a medical process, but a personal one that doesn't need to include any medical treatment.
I remember specifically from looking at their website when the story broke in January-ish, they said they were a single sex organisation.
It all feels a bit like "we have always been at war with East Asia"
When I have questioned this, I have been told that GGuiding is complying with the law and is a single gender organisation, rather than "single sex".
Incidentally, the guidance for transgender adults and children in the scouts association in the same.
Surprisingly, they are allowed to have mixed gender sleeping arrangements although I think a lot of local areas don't.
Following recent newspaper articles, there has, unsurprisingly, been some comments about this issue on guide leader FB groups. Comments range from "they are all girls just the same" and "only stupid bigots would disagree that girls can have a penis" to outright horror that it should be happening at all. Most threads are swiftly closed and discussion stopped, we are referred to the website guidelines.
Kitty if you contact gg hq in London, it will be an employee, not a volunteer. The more people who contact them with concerns about this the better as I think most parents (and guiders!) will not be in favour of their daughters sleeping in the same tents as boys who are transitioning.
This is why I let my daughter leave the Guides.
It's so disappointing - the only world wide organisation run entirely for women, by women - with the occasional glittery penis person because we can't stand up for female only spaces.
All the girls who can't be around men for whatever reason are now denied participating in a uniformed organisation. That sucks.
Good point namechangedasimaguid
It was brought in with no consultation with the membership, and only now are people realising what it means.
If no one says anything, then nothing will be done.
shows that gender and sex are separate protected characteristics. Could you use something like that in your reply?
Yes I know it’s interpreted that way BU some guidance but the act is clear that you have to be at the least undergoing a process to acquire th characteristics of the opposite sex, not gender. You can only do that if you it’s some kind of medical transition. Wearing a skirt or using female pronouns is not a sex characteristic
Any comments on my reply please?
No, you have not answered my query as to how having sexually mature heterosexual male-bodied teenagers or adults sharing dormitories with teenage guides is not a safeguarding issue. It is the most basic safeguarding practice to not have mixed-sex dormitories for under-18s.
The Equality Act of 2010 states that single-sex services can exclude transgendered people if it is done as "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". Teenage girls are usually very self-conscious about their bodies. Surely it is a legitimate aim to give them a single-sex residential experience where they don't have the embarrassment of showering and getting ready for bed with a boy who identifies as a girl.
I have pasted the relevant bit below which is available on Schedule 3, Part 7, Paragraph 28 at www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/schedule/3
28(1)A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to gender reassignment discrimination, only because of anything done in relation to a matter within sub-paragraph (2) if the conduct in question is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Girls should not have to risk the accusation of transphobia by asking their leader for alternative accommodation if they feel uncomfortable. Those at the top of Girlguiding should be the ones standing up for girls. Your solution of a parent talking to a leader is no good as your policy is for parents not to be told if a transgirl or transwoman will be on the residential trip or not. And frankly, your organisation is GIRLguiding. Why should a girl miss out on a trip because she doesn't want to shower or share a dormitory with random males who identify as girls?
Please ensure that my complaint is recorded. I dearly hope that Girlguiding will reconsider its position and stand up for girls.
Your reply looks good to me. But I must point out that no adult, be that leader, helper or member of 18 is allowed to share sleeping accommodation with under 18's.
So I would change that in your first paragraph.
Thanks - I was lumping all the senior section in together. I will change that. Why did you feel the need to change your username? Surely Girlguiding are just trying to be PC - or are there really lots of people in it who genuinely feel strongly about including transgirls?
I must admit, the listing from Sheffield is clear at least -- and it treats gender as different from sex.
I was wondering, given that a belief in man-made climate change was considered a belief, whether belief in 'gender identity' and innate and self-proclaimed gender identity could possibly fit under the same heading. And just as atheism is, I assume, protected, so should lack of belief in an innate gender identity. Because, for those who do believe in it, 'gender identity belief' is certainly "a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour." Hence 'gender atheism' should then be covered.
The political belief in terms of what you should or should not do as regards people of varying sexes/genders is another matter. But being a 'gender atheist' and being willing to say so, should perhaps be as protected as someone who believes in gender identity.........And people shouldn't bully you or call you a bigot is you say you don't believe in gender.............
We keep saying that it sounds like a religion, and I think the 'practising' aspect isn't the issue (although is for tax purposes and churches etc I believe?). But for individuals, it is the belief that counts, not what you then may do as a result of that belief.......
Great reply. I'd also include that legally a 18> year old cannot change their "gender" (yet), so their is no legal impediment to include them even if they did ignore the "proportionate aim" bit.
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