Women and Equalities Select Committee Chair pushes to strip back gender on official documents; Stonewall express support
Jan 06, 2016 07:39 AM EST
Women and Equalities Select Committee chair Maria Miller recently sought for the government's action to "strip back" gender in official documents such as passports and driving licences. It is in order to get rid of transgender discrimination.
As reported by The Guardian, Miller is suggesting to strip back talking about gender among men and women when it is unnecessary. The inclusion of gender in documents lead to discrimination in job and university applications. "There's so much we can do to make the playing field level and in university applications as well. We've got to tackle the unconscious bias in the system." , Miller said.
Furthermore, the committee chair also added that gender in documents also causes problem to people who are transitioning and does not have the necessary documents yet. "For individuals who have decided to transition but haven't necessarily got the right documentation, it can cause problems. Why do we need gender on our driving licence? Why do we have to have it on our passport if it doesn't really add identification? It's not relevant. Australia has decided to degender their passports", Miller suggested.
In his response to Miller's statement, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said that they have also suggested gender neutralism in the Parliament, however, it did not receive action from the Tories. According to Independent, Farron further added that they are hoping for more support from MPs in all parties.
In their statement to Mashable, LGBT rights group Stonewall spokesperson expressed their support in Miller's proposal stating that having male and female gender markers on official documents can cause difficult and distressing situations. This is especially as there remains a widespread lack of awareness and understanding of different trans identities. "We therefore welcome the Women and Equalities Select Committee inquiry into Transgender Equality and look forward to hearing its recommendations.", Stonewall stated.
The Women and Equalities Select Committee is expected to release a report on transgender discrimination next week.