On Thursday evening, Women's Declaration International was informed by a member of the Green Party of England and Wales that a ‘late motion’ had been submitted to the party conference by Ani Stafford-Townsend, ‘non-binary’ co-chair of the women’s committee. This motion called for Green Party members who had signed WDI’s Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights to be expelled from the party.
The motion contains the usual range of accusations and associations expected from gender ideologues, all presented entirely without evidence and supported by a hyperbolic, truth-free ‘'background’ document. WDI is a grassroots women’s rights organisation, run by volunteers from all over the world. Founded by radical feminists, WDI promotes the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, which reaffirms the sex-based rights of women and girls as set out in CEDAW.
Last week Emma Bateman, democratically elected co-chair of the women’s committee and WDI signatory, heard she had been suspended from the Green Party for ‘breaching codes of conduct’.
When Emma was elected, the Scottish Green Party Women's Network, Rainbow Greens and Scottish Young Greens took to Twitter, lambasting the voters for their 'ongoing transphobia' in electing a co-chair who had signed the Declaration. Emma responded by suggesting that the Scottish groups were 'very cross that Green Party Women voters understand that women exist as a sex class.’ This lead to the Scottish Greens threatening to cut ties with the Green Party of England and Wales
The party leadership also removed Shahrar Ali, who also holds ‘gender critical’ views, from his position as spokesperson on policing and domestic violence. He has been subjected to unrelenting abuse, harassment and detriment from Green Party members since 2018 because of his support for women's rights. Dr. Ali is taking legal action against the Green Party – his crowd-funder is available here. Sex-Based Rights vs Cancel Culture (crowdjustice.com)
He said the motion would essentially seek to police thought and control its expression outside the party - with punitive consequences - on the basis of a highly controversial, most negative interpretation of the WDI Declaration. He has urged members via Twitter not to leave the party but to vote the motion down instead.
Ani Stafford-Townsend’s document calls WDI and our signatories ‘hard-line’ and ‘extremist’. We do not accept that arguing that women have rights based on their sex that are vital to achieving equality is a ‘hard-line’ or ‘extremist’ position, especially as these rights are being systematically dismantled all over the world. WDI is opposed to gender ideology and campaigns against allowing men to self-identify into the protected category of women, which is harmful to women and girls. We believe in the rights of all people to live their lives free of discrimination and harassment, as we explain in our FAQ. The nine Articles of the Declaration include reaffirmations of women’s rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom from male violence and our rights to physical and reproductive integrity.
This authoritarian motion makes an unfounded attempt to associate WDI with ‘anti-democratic’ groups and forces. We suggest that it is in fact actions such as making lists of party members suspected of holding non-approved lawful views, policing their lawful activity outside of the party and threatening to expel or re-educate them that are anti-democratic.
Like many other women’s rights organisations, WDI has to contend with constant lies and accusations from gender enthusiasts. We treat the suggestion that an organisation founded and run by radical feminists would be against abortion with the contempt it deserves and we call on those accusing us of association with far-right groups or receiving funding from far right organisations to provide evidence of this.
Freedom of association, opinion and expression is a corner stone of democracy. Furthermore, in June 2021 the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that gender-critical beliefs are a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. We note that the Green Party is committed to upholding rights of women and girls afforded by the Equality Act, and maintains the rights of members to freedom of thought and conscience. We therefore urge the Green Party to confirm that party members are free to support the sex-based rights of women and girls.
As a non-partisan organisation WDI welcomes signatories from all political parties and none, and are grateful for their support. We know that women’s rights are becoming a major policy issue for voters all over the UK. Politicians from all parties have started to speak up against the placing of men in women’s prisons and hospital wards, the destruction of women’s sports, the harm done to children and the other damaging consequences of gender ideology. The time for the authoritarian suppression of debate, the abuse of those holding lawful ‘gender critical’ views and the threats of ‘cancellation’ or expulsion is over. If you are in favour of women’s sex-based rights you can sign our Declaration here – or have a look at our website to find out more about us.