The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has called for changes to ensure equality for transgender people.
A report released by the Committee argues that there is still along way to go to ensure equality for transgender people, but the Committee has made 30 recommendations for improvements.
Calling upon the government to take action, the report suggests emphasising the need to update existing legislation; provide better services, especially in the NHS; and improve confidence in the criminal justice system.
The report argues that transgender legislation, which was once pioneering, is now out of date. It suggests that the Equality Act 2010 should be updated as “gender reassignment” and “transsexual” are dated and misleading. To cover wider members of the trans community the report calls for these to be amended to “gender identity”.
Highlighting the NHS, the report claims the NHS is “failing in its legal duty under the Equality Act 2010” because services lack an understanding of trans identities, the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and details of prescribing hormone treatment. The report recommends a review and rectification of these issues within the next six months.
Moving to the criminal justice system the report calls for a hate crime legislation to protect all groups and suggests the plan is included in mandatory police training on transphobic hate crime. The report also says the government needs to do more to tackle the issue of trans people being inappropriately ‘outed’ in court.
The review also drew attention to trans offenders to ensure trans prisoners are located in a prison or other setting appropriate to their affirmed gender.
The Committee’s report also calls on the government to agree a new strategy for transgender equality with full cross departmental support within the next six months.
Committee Chair Maria Miller said: “The committee took evidence on a very wide range of issues. As well as health, equality and criminal justice, we looked at education, data protection, service provision, official documents, sport – and more. Although Britain leads the world in recognising lesbian, gay and bisexual rights, we are still failing trans people in so many ways.
“The glamorous stories of trans celebrities are in stark contrast to the day to day experiences of many ordinary individual trans people. Our report challenges attitudes towards trans people and calls for them to be treated equally and fairly.”