UK Government Questions the Term ‘Pregnant Woman’
The UK government says that the phrase ‘pregnant woman’ is limiting because it excludes transgender women who have given birth. They have said this as part of Britain’s official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 1976.
“We requested that the UN Human Rights committee made it clear that the same right [to life for pregnant women] extends to pregnant transgender people,” said the UK government in a statement.
The UN treaty which is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, says that a “pregnant woman” must be protected, including not being subject to the death penalty. The UK says that the term should be called “Pregnant people” according to the Sunday Times.
“We requested that the UN human rights committee made it clear that the same right [to life for pregnant women] extends to pregnant transgender people,” said the UK government in a statement.
However, this move has been met with criticism. Feminist author Sarah Ditum, has said that this move is anti-women.
“This isn’t inclusion. This is making women unmentionable. Having a female body and knowing what that means for reproduction doesn’t make you ‘exclusionary’. Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult,” she said.
The Sunday Times reported, Britain’s Office for National Statistics has suggested making the sex question voluntary for the next census. They believe not doing so could discriminatory against trans people.
Feminist Germaine Greer has said that it denied women’s right to exist. Others are also unhappy with the UK government’s method to include more trans people.