Women and Equalities Select Committee: Cross-governmental transgender equality plan remains ‘largely unimplemented’

MPs warn Whitehall to up its game on delivering trans equality for staff and citizens

By Jim Dunton

14 Jan 2016

MPs have used a new report to signal their frustration with the civil service’s lack of progress at implementing a 2011 cross-departmental strategy to boost transgender equality.
MPs on the Women and Equalities Select Committee today published a 95-page report on the level of fairness and equality enjoyed by members of the transgender community. It concluded that the group was being failed.
One key area of shortcoming for the civil service was the Government Equalities Office’s Advancing Transgender Equality Action Plan, which was published in 2011.
MPs said that despite government departments committing to the plan’s “broad range of detailed actions”,  the policy remained “largely unimplemented”.
In its recommendations, the committee gave ministers six months to agree a new strategy that could be delivered and which had full cross-departmental support.
The committee, which is chaired by the Conservative MP and former culture secretary Maria Miller, said ministers should also draw up a balance sheet of the previous transgender action plan, confirm those actions which have been completed, and agree a new strategy to tackle those that remain unaddressed.
The report said: “This must be done within the next six months. It should set out clearly the areas of responsibility and lines of accountability in the public sector regarding trans equality issues. It should also include a wholesale review of issues facing non-binary and non-gendered people.”
Elsewhere, MPs on the committee expressed concern about the NHS’s ability to deal with transgender people and in particular the level of training provided to GPs.
MPs also called for the Ministry of Justice to ensure that it consulted fully with the transgender community in developing the government’s new hate-crime action plan.
Hannah Kibirige, senior policy officer at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charity Stonewall, voiced support for the report and called on the government to back its recommendations.
“The fact that this inquiry even took place is hugely important, and it’s clear from the report that the committee has really listened to the diversity of voices who gave evidence,” she said.
“This report is a good step towards securing equality for trans people and we now look forward to working alongside the government, trans communities and allies across the UK to ensure that these recommendations translate into concrete actions.”

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