Each council is made up of councillors who are directly elected by the residents of the area they represent. There are 1,227 councillors in Scotland, who are normally elected every five years – the next election is on 5th May 2022.
Councillors are responsible for running their local council and they have an important role in many of the major decisions that affect people’s lives – such as developing and reviewing council policies, and holding public services to account.
We want to make sure women are at the forefront of politicians minds in this election. Many councils have recently adopted policies that deny the protected characteristic of sex. They are spending thousands of pounds on training that misrepresents the law. In schools, single-sex facilities such as toilets and changing rooms are being replaced with mixed-sex ones. Boys who identify as girls are being allowed into girls’ sporting competitions. In local gyms and sports centres, women’s facilities are being opened up to men who declare themselves women. Hospital wards now routinely have men on the women’s wards and those who need help with intimate care can no longer be guaranteed a carer of the same sex.
From now until the 5th May we need to send those seeking our votes a message. We will tell political parties and the candidates and campaigners who knock on our door or stop us on the street, that sex matters. Women matter. Single-sex services matter. Child safeguarding matters.
Ask your candidates these four questions:
- Can you define what a woman is?
Not a difficult question, yet it’s one which politicians have been tying themselves in knots over recently thanks to the push to allow men to declare themselves as women in law.
Ask this question to gauge a candidate’s honesty and integrity. We all know what a woman is, but if they can’t be upfront and honest about this then you can’t believe a word they say about anything else.
The answer we’re looking for is adult human female, or the definition in the Equality Act which includes girls: a female of any age. If we can’t define women, we can’t protect our rights.
- Do you understand that the Equality Act protects single-sex spaces and services?
The law provides women with important protections on the basis of SEX and it’s entirely lawful to exclude men – regardless of their “gender identity” – in order to ensure women’s privacy, safety and fairness.
This applies to areas where women are undressing, sleeping, accessing health & personal care services, hospital wards, prisons and sports. Ask your candidates if they know the law.
- Will you protect single-sex services in your community?
Ask your candidates if they will represent women’s interests and ensure local service providers and schools uphold the law. Building regulations and planning decisions should be used to maintain single-sex toilets and changing rooms. Funding decisions for women’s charities and refuges should not be conditional on including men.
- Will you protect the characteristic of “sex” in council policies?
Many councils have spent thousands of pounds on training from campaign groups who misrepresent the law. This has led to colourful awards but confusion and mistakes in council policies. Ask your candidates to keep the words WOMAN and SEX in council policies and data collection. We are not a “gender identity” and do not want to be referred to as chest-feeders or menstruators, and we need to collect accurate information on men and women for equality monitoring.
Expect your candidates to be HONEST, KNOWLEDGEABLE and SUPPORTIVE of women’s rights in policy and practice. Tell them your vote will only go to candidates who #RespectMySex.
You can find out who your local candidates are by clicking on this button and entering your postcode:
Leaflets to download and print:
Note: The 78% figure in the leaflets is from an independent poll that we commissioned from Panelbase in December 2021.