BACKGROUND INFORMATION

CambsWomen Together (CWT) was formed because we are concerned at the erosion of women's sex-based rights and the impact on child protection. We aim to provide a voice that represents and centres women and girls and to provide a viewpoint that is representative of the female population. 

CambsWomen Together is a group of women who live and work within Cambridgeshire. We are from a diverse range of backgrounds, with different life experiences and political beliefs. What does link us is the fact that we are women, we believe in biology and that women require the sex-based rights and single-sex segregation we have been granted in law.  It is our aim to ensure these legal rights are upheld. 

Women have pushed the boundaries of sex-role stereotypes and the expectations imposed upon us over millennia in order to be where we are now. As a sex class, in the UK, we have more sex-based rights than at any point in the past, even if we do not yet have full liberation. We support men in pushing the boundaries of the sex-based stereotypes imposed upon them, but not at the expense of women and children.  

The current push for self-identification and the conflation of sex and ‘gender’ requires that we ignore an individual’s sex on one hand, while validating and promoting an individual who proposes they are the opposite sex (gender), have no sex, or their sex (gender) fluctuates.  

Cambridge City councillors October 2020 motion asserted “Trans rights are human rights. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. Non-binary individuals are non-binary.” Councillors expressed disappointment that the law had not changed to enable individuals to self-identify their sex.  Raising questions in respect of women or the clash of rights that occurs between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ often results in the vilification and silencing of those asking questions, rather than any constructive engagement. 

One of our concerns is that Cambridge City councillors, by stating “Trans rights are human rights. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. Non-binary individuals are non-binary”, have explicitly stated that they believe ‘gender’ supersedes sex. As women, we are dismayed that councillors only appear to have sought and received input from organisations invested in the promotion of self-identification. Given this, we feel councillors and the Council need to be clear how they intend to implement the motion of self-ID into their policies and practices, and what consideration, if any, has been given to women and girls in the City of Cambridge and surrounding areas.

A second concern is the inconsistent use of language and conflation of the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’; if ‘single sex’ is promoted, then the service should be ‘single sex’ not ‘single gender/mixed sex’. The Council and wider Cambridgeshire organisations have a duty to be clear about what service they are providing, who they are providing it to and how they will comply with existing laws.

A third concern is that women are not being consulted on issues that will have a direct impact on them and women’s single-sex services and spaces; our ability to name ourselves as women; on fairness, safety or safeguarding. To this end, CambsWomen Together have expressed an interest to the Council that we wish to be included as a stakeholder group and consulted on issues that will have an impact on women and girl’s rights.  

CambsWomen Together has been formed due to our concern at the current push to erase women and our rights locally, within the context of national concern and action by women’s groups. We will work to address any issues impacting the interests of women and girls throughout Cambridgeshire.