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Kemi Badenoch asks public to report places issuing ‘bad’ single-sex space guidance to government

"Single-sex spaces are essential for ensuring privacy and dignity for women" the Equalities Minister claims

By Jamie Tabberer

Kemi Badenoch sat at a table with Union Jack flags behind her
Kemi Badenoch (Image:Simon Dawson/ No 10 Downing Street/Wikimedia Commons)

Minister for Equalities and Women Kemi Badenoch has launched an appeal for people to send examples of organisations issuing “incorrect” and “bad” guidance on single-sex spaces.

The Conservative MP for Saffron Walden says she wants “policymaking […] to tackle any confusion” and “ensure single-sex spaces are maintained.”

A statement issued by the Equalities Office today [Wednesday 1 May 2024] also says that businesses and other organisations can exclude transgender people with Gender Recognitions Certificates “where it is justified.”

The appeal, covering Great Britain, will run for eight weeks starting on 1 May.

Individuals can alternatively speak to the Equality Advisory and Support Service on issues relating to equality and human rights here.

The statement claims that ‘confusion about the law is leading to some organisations suggesting that people have a legal right to access single-sex spaces according to their self-identified gender.

‘Where certain conditions are met, businesses and other organisations can legally provide single and separate-sex services such as toilets, changing rooms, and female-only fitness classes, which exclude transgender people of the opposite biological sex who do not have a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Where it is justified, they are also able to exclude transgender people with GRCs.

‘In some cases organisations believe they are required to allow self-identifying transgender people to access these services. Now, as part of raising awareness and to understand how well single-sex spaces are maintained, Kemi Badenoch is calling on the public to submit their examples to the Government.’

“Single-sex spaces are essential for ensuring privacy and dignity for women” – Kemi Badenoch

Badenoch said in a statement: “Single-sex spaces are essential for ensuring privacy and dignity for women. I do recognise, however, that the law in this area is complex, and I know that some organisations are confused and afraid of backlash if they are seen to get it wrong.”

The Secretary of State for Business and Trade continued: “So I am asking people to submit real-world examples of organisations using incorrect guidance, so that our policymaking continues to tackle any confusion and we ensure single-sex spaces are maintained.”

The government statement concludes that ‘officials will consider all submissions and will provide analysis to the Minister for Women and Equalities to decide upon appropriate next steps.’

Attitude has contacted Badenoch and the Equalities Office for further comment.