The Girl Guides official guidelines have updated so that
For the first time, guide leaders have been advised to allow members who were born male but identify as female to use the same facilities as female-born girls.
This includes showers, toilets, changing rooms and sleeping quarters.
The 107-year-old organisation updated it’s guidelines, which apply to members between 5 and 25, to allow transgender girls to ‘share accommodation with other young members if they wish’.
Issued on the group’s UK website, the guidance states that “the use of gendered facilities,” including showers, toilets and changing rooms, “can cause anxiety”.
It adds: “Members are allowed to use the facilities of the gender they self-identify as.”
Girlguiding Chief Executive, Julie Bentley, said the new guidance is simply following requirements set in the Equality Act 2010.
The act states that organisations providing single-sex services must treat people according to their acquired gender.
She said: “In line with our values of inclusion, we welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman.
“If a young person doesn’t feel comfortable sharing accommodation, for whatever reason, we encourage them to talk to their leader about alternative accommodation and facilities.”
However the new guidelines have been met with some criticism, including from David Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth in South Wales, who told The Mail on Sunday:
“If transgender girls who are physically male are going to be sharing facilities, it’s going to make some girls threatened and uncomfortable and the Guides shouldn’t be doing that.”
One respondent to the Guide’s ‘Girls Attitudes Survey’, said: “Being the only female in a male-dominated environment can be very difficult, so it’s important to make sure that girls feel welcome and safe in these places.”
The report states that the organisation offers “girls a place where they can really be themselves with other girls and share the experience of growing up as a girl in today’s world.”
It’s gender guidelines state: “‘Girl’ is based on gender identity.
This means that any child who self-identifies as a girl should feel safe and welcome in our girl-only space regardless of the sex that they were assigned at birth.”