Ministers fight Civil Service's gender neutral 'militant wokery'

Ministers fight back against Civil Service’s gender neutral ‘militant wokery’ to demand all new laws reference ‘women’ and ‘mothers’

  • Mandarins accused of ‘a political agenda to erase women and biological sex’ 
  • The Government is said to be concerned at gender-neutral language in laws
  • Source said ministers are determined to push back against ‘militant wokery’
  • Ministers are to demand that all new legislation specifically references ‘women’ and mothers’ in a bid to reverse the march of ‘militant wokery’ around gender neutral language.

    The Civil Service was today accused having ‘a political agenda to erase women and the concept of biological sex’ with its use of non-specific terms.

    The Government is said to be concerned at language that ‘erases’ women from laws. In one high profile example last year, the NHS sparked a row by calling expectant mothers ‘pregnant people’ to avoid upsetting trans parents. 

    A source told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘We want to see tolerance and respect for everyone, but women should not be erased or cancelled from public discourse – including Parliament’s own laws.

    ‘Whilst the Government supports the desire to avoid stereotypes on positions of authority, gender neutral language such as ”pregnant people” undermines women and their experiences.

    ‘Ministers are determined to push back on the spread of militant wokery which insults and degrades women.’

    The Civil Service was today accused having 'a political agenda to erase women and the concept of biological sex' with its use of non-specific terms.

    The Civil Service was today accused having ‘a political agenda to erase women and the concept of biological sex’ with its use of non-specific terms.

    NHS East of England tweeted a quote from one of their antenatal and newborn screening coordinators, called Suzanne, which referred to expectant mothers as 'pregnant people'

    NHS East of England tweeted a quote from one of their antenatal and newborn screening coordinators, called Suzanne, which referred to expectant mothers as ‘pregnant people’

    The post triggered a debate on the social media platform, with one person writing: 'Pregnant women. Fixed it for you'

    The post triggered a debate on the social media platform, with one person writing: ‘Pregnant women. Fixed it for you’

    But Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, which represents many civil servants, denied there was a problem, saying: ‘There is no subterfuge around this stuff. Language develops all the time and ultimately civil servants advise and ministers decide. 

    A year ago  NHS East of England tweeted a quote from one of their antenatal and newborn screening coordinators, called Suzanne, which said: ‘Our job is to implement all the screening programs for pregnant people and their newborn babies.’

    The post triggered a debate on the social media platform, with one person writing: ‘Pregnant women. Fixed it for you.’

    The comments came after Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust became the first in the country to formally implement a ‘gender inclusive’ overhaul for its maternity services department, which will now be known as ‘perinatal services’.

    Changes included replacing the use of the word ‘woman’ with the phrase ‘woman or person’, and the term ‘father’ with ‘parent’, ‘co-parent’ or ‘second biological parent’, depending on the circumstances, for documents, protocols and Trust-wide communication.

    Last month the equalities watchdog ruled it is perfectly legal for public bodies and businesses to limit services to a single sex.

    There has long been uncertainty over whether services such as refuges for female rape victims are allowed to exclude trans people who were born as men.

    But the  Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that service providers wishing to limit services to a single sex are legally able to do so, provided the reasons are justified and proportionate.

    The new guidance will have huge ramifications for hospitals, retailers, hospitality and sports clubs which have faced difficult issues in recent years under pressure from the trans lobby.

    It makes it clear that it is legal for a gym to limit communal changing rooms to a single sex, as long as a gender neutral changing room is also provided for trans people.