Ministers call for UN treaty to use term pregnant people

  23 October 2017    Read: 919
Ministers call for UN treaty to use term pregnant people
Ministers have called for the term 'pregnant woman' to be removed from a UN treaty - because it 'excludes' transgender people.
The call is said to have been made in Britain's official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The UN treaty, to which the UK has been a signatory since 1976, says a 'pregnant woman' must be given special protection, including not being subject to the death penalty.

But according to the Sunday Times the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is asking for the term 'pregnant people' to be used for fear of excluding 'transgender people who have given birth'.

The move has sparked fury from feminists who said it was the latest example of 'making women unmentionable'.

There are only thought to have been two cases of transgender pregnancy in the UK, where children are born to men who have had a sex change but kept their womb and ovaries.

Feminist writer Sarah Ditum told the newspaper: 'This isn't inclusion. This is making women unmentionable.

'Having a female body and knowing what that means for reproduction doesn't make you 'exclusionary'.

'Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult.'

The Office for National Statistics recently came under fire for making the gender question in the next census voluntary over concerns about discriminating against trans people.

Theresa May announced last week that the government is to push on with a consultation about changes to the Gender Recognition Act, allowing people to 'self-certify' their gender.

Critics say men could get legal rights to use women's hospital wards, prisons, toilets and changing rooms.

The UN covenant is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, and is revised at regular intervals.

The Foreign Office said: 'We requested that the UN human rights committee made it clear that the same right extends to pregnant transgender people.'

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