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Fawcett calls on mutual respect in trans debate

THE Fawcett Society called today for “mutual respect” in the debate over transgender rights.

A row broke out earlier this week when Labour leadership hopefuls Rebecca Long Bailey and Lisa Nandy joined deputy candidates Angela Rayner and Dawn Butler in backing a new charter which calls on Labour to expel “transphobic” members.

The charter describes campaign groups such as Woman’s Place UK – originally set up to provide input on the Gender Recognition Act – as “trans-exclusionist hate groups.” 

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the gender equality charity the Fawcett Society, warned that the characterisation of Woman’s Place UK “misrepresents [it] and is fundamentally unhelpful.”

She said: “Trans people are targeted with violence, abuse and threats and so are women who speak out about the need to defend women-only spaces and sex-based rights.

“Women’s fear of male violence is real and justified. For reasons of women’s privacy, dignity and safety, the need for single-sex spaces remains.

“But trans peoples’ human rights must also be recognised and their needs must also be met.”

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