13 May 2024
Equality Act 2010 (Biological Sex Matters Campaign)

The current guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on existing legislation says that it is entirely acceptable for providers of single-sex services to take account of biological sex of their service users. Where it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, the Equality Act 2010 is clear that service providers can exclude, modify or limit access for transgender people, even where they have a Gender Recognition Certificate. This includes where a service provider has concerns that the presence of individuals who are biologically male could prevent them from meeting their aims, such as in the example below, included in the guidance: “A group counselling session is provided for female victims of sexual assault. The organisers do not allow trans women to attend as they judge that the clients who attend the group session are likely to be traumatised by the presence of a person who is biologically male.”

I can assure you that the Government is committed to protecting women's rights and the Minister for Women and Equalities regularly seeks advice from the independent equality regulator as part of her role. The department has received advice from the EHRC on the Equality Act and, I understand, will undertake detailed policy and legal analysis to understand the impact of its advice on various protected groups and related issues arising.

I can assure you that the Government is committed to maintaining the safeguards that allow organisations to provide single-sex spaces. It is crucial that the principle of being able to operate spaces reserved for women and girls is maintained. 

I will continue to monitor this issue closely.