Will Gender Self-Declaration Undermine Women's Rights and Lead to an Increase in Harms?

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This article considers and rejects claims that reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) to allow gender self-declaration will undermine non-trans women's rights and lead to an increase in harms to non-trans women. The article argues that these claims are founded on a mistaken understanding of the proper legal relationship between the GRA and the Equality Act 2010 (EA), and that the harm claim, in any event, lacks a proper evidential basis. The article considers three legal arguments made by gender critical feminists: that sex-based exceptions under the EA cannot be invoked against trans women with a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), that the appropriate legal comparator for a trans woman non GRC-holder in a discrimination case is a non-trans man, and that section 22 of the GRA, which protects the privacy of GRC-holders, undermines the ability of women's organisations to regulate access to women-only spaces.




Sharpe, A. (2020). Will Gender Self-Declaration Undermine Women’s Rights and Lead to an Increase in Harms? Modern Law Review, 83(3), 539–557. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12507

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