The Welsh government is set to redefine the definition of women in law to include trans women, under new planned laws.
The proposals were revealed on Sunday (29 October) in a leaked draft of the Gender Quotas Bill, which seeks to ensure a gender-balanced Senedd.
This would mean equal quotas set for men and women to run as political candidates for the Welsh government.
The draft bill also touches on including trans women within the female quota of candidates, which would be reflected in the proposed new law.
“Transgender women are women” – Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford
According to The Telegraph, the definition of a trans woman in the draft bill is “a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning [their] sex to female by changing physiological or other attributes of sex”.
It also stated that a constituency returning officer would be unable to challenge or make inquiries in relation to a candidate’s identity.
While there have been some mixed responses to the news, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has long made it clear that he believes “trans women are women.”
Last year he told the Senedd: “My starting point is the same as Penny Mordaunt’s – the UK minister responsible at the time – who said that the UK government’s starting point was that transgender women are women. That’s my starting point in this debate.
“To me, inclusivity is absolutely what we should be aiming for here”
“It is a difficult area where people feel very strongly on different sides of an argument, and an argument that divides people who agree on most other things.
He went on to add: “In such a potentially divisive issue, the responsibility of elected representatives is not to stand on the certainties of their own convictions, but instead to work hard to look for opportunities for dialogue, to find ways of promoting understanding rather than conflict, and to demonstrate respect rather than to look for exclusion.
“To me, inclusivity is absolutely what we should be aiming for here.”
There were many positive comments online, with one sharing on X (formerly Twitter) “Transphobia is not allowed in the land of my fathers!!”
“They really put the W in Wales,” someone else commented, with a third adding: “Anyone in Wales who’s transphobic gets fed to our pet dragon Ddraig Goch.”
Another wrote: “Another example of the benefits of devolution. If only these policies were adopted on a national level.”