A policy in search of evidence
Why we need to treat with caution claims about the specific harms of keeping trans-identifying men in male prisons
21st March 2023
New MoJ transgender prisoner policy: Sex Matters’ response
Sex Matters welcomes the Ministry of Justice’s announcement that men who identify as women will no longer be housed in women’s prisons if they have male genitalia or have committed sexual or violent crimes, with exceptions only to be made with ministerial authority. We join Woman’s Place UK and...
6th March 2023
Searching for a simple answer
What does a gender-recognition certificate actually do? The question comes into sharp focus when people are forced to undress, or have to submit to intimate touching. It is a question of central importance to HM Prison and Probation Service’s policy on searching. Human rights As the Divisional Court in...
22nd February 2023
Accommodation of transgender prisoners and Article 3 ECHR
Claire Methven O’Brien writes for Scottish Legal News on how attention has recently focused on policy and practice concerning accommodation of transgender prisoners in Scotland. However, the role of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has been little discussed in this context. Accordingly, this...
Call out bad reporting with our new tool
Media coverage of sex and gender is often confused, biased, misleading or simply wrong. This has become clearer than ever in recent weeks as the spotlight has fallen on Adam Graham, a man who decided he was a woman after appearing in court on rape charges. As in previous...
7th February 2023
Rights and wrongs: how gender self-identification policy places women at risk in prison
Jo Phoenix, Professor of Criminology at the University of Reading, describes how the decision to include anatomical males who identify as women in a population of female prisoners creates a new layer of vulnerability for an already vulnerable group.
Charlie Falconer’s testimony
The Women and Equalities Committee held an evidence session on 31st January on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and the Equality Act. It featured Robin White, Barrister at Old Square Chambers; Naomi Cunningham, Barrister at Outer Temple Chambers (and Sex Matters’ Chair); Dr Michael Foran Senior Fellow, Policy Exchange...
2nd February 2023
Fair Play For Women
Campaigning and consultancy group which raises awareness, provides evidence and analysis, and supports policy-makers to protect the rights of women and girls in the UK. Opposes sex self-ID, and also played a large part in the government’s decision to abandon plans to introduce it in England and Wales in...
Trans law is a ‘magic key’ for predators
Mark McLaughlin for The Times
Sex Matters Chair Naomi Cunningham is the legal expert quoted.
A legal expert has warned Scotland’s controversial gender laws will provide men “who cross-dress for erotic purposes” with a “magic certificate” to access women’s spaces.
Female inmates do not trust Nicola Sturgeon to decide who is sent to female prisons
Ex-Cornton Vale Prison inmate Amanda Benson talks to Times Radio.
“Putting a double rapist into a female prison, I don't know what risk assessments they're doing to have these men in the prison.”
Minister defiant over trans rapist Isla Bryson
Mark McLaughlin for The Times
Maya Forstater is extensively quoted. The article was later revised.
The Scottish justice secretary has refused to stop the imprisonment of rapists in women’s prisons after a party colleague accused a double sex offender of “gaming the system”.
Clarify the Equality Act: sign the petition
The Equality Act 2010 protects everyone’s rights and covers everything from schools to hospitals, pubs to sports, and everybody’s workplace. It includes protection against sex-discrimination, and allows single-sex services. But on 13th December a judge in Scotland pronounced that Equality Act does not recognise biological sex as a protected...
16th December 2022
Woman’s Place UK (WPUK)
Grassroots feminist campaign formed in 2017 by women with backgrounds in trade-union and broader social movements. Aim was to ensure women’s voices would be heard in the consultation on proposals for self-identification and to uphold single-sex exceptions. Played a large role in getting government plans to reform the Gender...
Women’s Rights Network
Combined grassroots groups of women who oppose sex self-ID. Supports local, in-person networking. Has topic-related groups (such as sports, prisons, schools) that create resources, including videos and podcasts and social-media posts, and coordinate national campaigns. Was a core member of the “Respect My Sex” campaign before the local elections...
Mass harassment in HM Prisons and Probation Service
As reported in The Telegraph today, HM Prisons and Probation Service’s Pride in Prison and Probation (PiPP) staff network has circulated documents for Trans Awareness Week telling MoJ staff to recognise a series of words and phrases as “transphobic dogwhistles”. The PiPP is an official staff network, with a...
20th November 2022
Why Sex Matters is calling for clarification of the Equality Act 2010
Sex Matters has launched a petition calling on the government to clarify that in the Equality Act 2010, “sex” means biological sex, and is not modified by the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This would protect the rights of people of both sexes, as well as people who identify as...