Transgender Europe Press Statement:
EU Parliament demands trans-inclusive EU gender equality strategy
The European Parliament adopted a trans-inclusive gender equality report this Monday, despite substantial protest from conservatives and right-wing forces.
The Parliamentarians request the European Commission to present a renewed gender equality strategy as the current one will expire end of the year. The new strategy should thoroughly take into account and strengthen the rights of different groups, such as migrant, ethnic minority, Roma or trans women. The Parliamentarians again call for a distinctive and separate LGBTI roadmap. The EU member states are urged to move forward with the horizontal directive, a legal project that would equalize all recognized discrimination grounds in the EU and that is blocked since 2009.
The report also calls upon the European Commission to ensure legal gender recognition throughout the Union. It further reiterates the call towards the Commission and the World Health Organisation to end classifying trans people as mentally ill in national and international health catalogues and also to ensure that gender diversity in childhood is not pathologized.
The Parliamentarians recognize the widespread discrimination, harassment and violence trans people face across the EU due to the gender identity and gender expression. The report also critically notes the rise of an anti-gender equality movement and calls upon equipping teachers better to explain how gender equality benefits whole of society.
Parliamentarians from the European People’s Party (EPP) and the European Conservatives (ECR) had lobbied against the inclusion of trans and lgbti issues as well as against topics relating to abortion or sexual and reproductive rights. An alternative report and a majority of their amendments were however voted down.
The European Commission holds currently a consultation on the future of EU gender equality policy. It remains open whether a new strategy will be adopted at all.
“The European Parliament has once more confirmed that it is a strong ally for trans people. Now it is up to the European Commission to fully realize the demands. The European Commission needs to commit to a new gender equality strategy and include a gender identity perspective throughout.” comments Richard Köhler, TGEU Senior Policy Officer.
“Gender equality is trans equality. The root causes for transphobia lay in sexism, misogyny and rigid gender stereotypes.” Explains Arja Voipio, TGEU co-chair: “We would welcome an inclusive EU gender equality strategy that recognises that gender is a continuum rather than a bipolar binary.”