GRA Reform – A Week Of Learning About What’s At Stake

By Sarah Wishart, Creative Director 19 Oct 2018
Used with the kind permission of

We do lots of explainer articles and videos around aspects of human rights law and cases. Often it’s because the law can be complex and we want to make the implications accessible to more people.

As the public consultation period for reforming the Gender Recognition Act drew to a close (the consultation closes tonight at eleven pm) we felt it was important to provide text and video explainers alongside perspectives from affected people in a week-long series.

The relationship between the Gender Recognition Act and the Equalities Act 2010 is complex and has courted a lot of controversy, so we were keen to ask people to think again about what’s at stake.

Credit: Instagram MyGenderation

Whenever we make videos or write articles where we aren’t entirely sure of the nuance of the legal issues, we send the scripts to a group of lawyers who specialise in human rights to make sure we’re getting things right. We knew this video would need checking because the issue is contentious.

I’ve been at RightsInfo a year now – and even when we’re focussing on a campaign like Period Poverty or Fight Hate with Rights, there’s always discussion around other human rights issues in the news but it’s safe to say that this week, there’s only been one topic of conversation, the GRA.

Seeking equality for trans people does not come at the expense of equality for women. We can have both.

RightsInfo has previously covered stories of trans people using human rights laws to challenge the situation they find themselves in. So we thought we knew what trans people face to get legal recognition, however there’s been surprise and shock when we’ve looked at the awful hurdles trans people have to go through to confirm their gender.

For example, I was horrified to learn that if you’re married, your spouse has to approve it. I can’t think of any other situation that a married partner still has to give their legal say so to such a life affecting decision.

There’s been much heated discussion reducing the narrative around the issues raised by the GRA to a binary argument between feminists and trans activists. There are many many cis women standing up alongside trans people, but these perspectives are largely being ignored.

I’ve been a feminist since I was able to ask why situations were different for a girl over a boy, and as a woman who’s been in violent relationships; I’m the first to shout about the need for refuges from domestic violence and safe spaces for women. Trans women need these spaces too.  Seeking equality for trans people does not come at the expense of equality for women. We can have both.

Featured image credit: Instagram MyGenderation

About The Author

Sarah Wishart Creative Director

Sarah Wishart is EachOther's Creative Director.

Sarah Wishart is EachOther's Creative Director.