11 February 2022
Women's Declaration International has been made aware that Ani Stafford-Townsend, co-chair of Green Party Women in England and Wales, has sent a ‘late motion’ to the Green Party Conference. This motion proposes to expel all Green Party members who have signed the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights. This has come in the same week that WDI signatory Emma Bateman, democratically elected co-chair of the women’s committee was suspended from the Green Party, and Dr Shahrar Ali, spokesperson on policing and domestic violence who holds ‘gender critical’ views, was removed from his position.
Although Ani Stafford-Townsend’s motion claims to recognise the need for open discussion, it is aimed at closing down debate and either removing people with opposing views from the Green Party entirely or re-educating them into the ‘correct’ way of thinking. It misrepresents WDI and the Declaration, making a range of unfounded claims and associations that are presented entirely without evidence.
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 Declaration reaffirms the sex-based rights of women and girls as defined by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW. Our nine Articles are taken from this globally ratified convention.
Believing that women have rights based on their sex that are vital to achieving equality is not a ‘hard-line’ or ‘extremist’ position, especially as these rights are being systematically dismantled all over the world. Articles 4 and 5 of our Declaration reaffirm women’s rights to freedom of opinion, expression and assembly. Actions such as this motion make it clear that these rights are needed more than ever before.
In June 2021 the Employment Appeal Tribunal [Forstater] found that gender-critical beliefs are a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. WDI notes 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.
WDI is grateful for the support of all Green Party members who have signed the Declaration. We are a grassroots women’s rights organisation run entirely by volunteers from all over the world. We campaign for women and girls’ rights and promote the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights. You can read more about us on our website and sign our Declaration here.