Nicola Sturgeon refuses to define ‘woman’ amid ongoing trans debate

Nicola Sturgeon REFUSES to define ‘woman’ because it ‘oversimplifies’ the trans debate: Scottish First Minister sparks backlash as SNP moves to make self-ID without doctor’s approval law

  • Scottish National Party leader has declined to define what a woman is
  • Nicola Sturgeon said it would ‘oversimplify’ the debate over gender reform
  • Angered female rights groups by refusing definition ahead of local elections
  • Rights campaigners have written to politicians urging them to define ‘woman’

Nicola Sturgeon has declined to define what a woman is, saying it would ‘oversimplify’ the debate over gender reform and could harm trans people.

The Scottish National Party leader yesterday angered female rights groups by refusing a definition in an interview ahead of the local elections.

She said: ‘I’m not going to, I’m just not going to get into this debate at a level that’s about simplified and lurid headlines. Trans people are amongst, possibly the most, stigmatised and discriminated against minorities in our society.

‘And every time we oversimplify this debate, trans people actually suffer and I think it’s important, they’re such a tiny minority, that we actually take the issues around protecting and enhancing the rights of trans people seriously.’

It comes amid reforms planned by the SNP that would allow people in Scotland to change their legal sex just by signing a declaration – and would not need a medical diagnosis or the approval of a doctor.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon on the campaign trail in Arbroath yesterday

Miss Sturgeon also said in The Times interview that she would argue until her ‘dying breath’ that there was no conflict between women’s rights and trans rights.

Female rights campaigners have written to politicians and election candidates urging them to define ‘woman’, and they said anyone who does not reply with the dictionary definition of ‘adult human female’ should not be trusted.

The For Women Scotland campaign group said: ‘Sturgeon reminds us of no one so much as Thatcher around the time of the poll tax, wilfully plowing on despite all evidence that she is wrong and declaring that she knows better than others but refusing to explain why .’

The Scottish Tories have pledged to protect female-only spaces in council facilities. But former leader Ruth Davidson failed to wholeheartedly support this policy.

The Scottish Tories have pledged to protect female-only spaces in council facilities.  But former leader Ruth Davidson (pictured with leader Douglas Ross yesterday in Portobello, Edinburgh) failed to wholeheartedly support this policy

The Scottish Tories have pledged to protect female-only spaces in council facilities. But former leader Ruth Davidson (pictured with leader Douglas Ross yesterday in Portobello, Edinburgh) failed to wholeheartedly support this policy

She said: ‘In terms of making sure that we absolutely look after women’s safety and women’s rights and single-sex spaces and all the rest of it – I agree that we need absolute reassurances about that.

‘But we also need to have a real understanding and compassion for people who are one of the most persecuted minors in this country.’

Pressed again on whether she can say she supports her party’s stance on single-sex spaces, she said: ‘I absolutely support the position that we need to give our women and our girls reassurances about single-sex spaces.

‘But I also believe that we can be better about making sure that both trans men and trans women are safe and have understanding and services to help them in their transition. I don’t think these things have to be in conflict.’

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