Categories

Equality

Equality works for you

Policies in this section only affect the UK as a whole unless specified.

We believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed in life and that we can tackle these inequalities with real change. This will involve removing barriers for these groups and ensuring both government support, our economy and society work for everyone.

Sections:

Ban shortlists for the House of Commons. We are against all shortlists for candidates regardless of whether they are based on gender, disability or any other characteristic. We are firmly against discrimination of all types and whilst shortlists are known as positive discrimination, they are still a type of discrimination. There are huge improvements needed to ensure everyone has equality of opportunity however shortlists create a system where some groups are excluded from running for certain seats making a system with shortlists unfair.

Official status for the native languages of the UK. We support recognising, and giving co-official status, to the UK’s native languages. These include English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Irish Gaelic, Shelta, Angloromani, British sign language and Irish sign language. For many of these languages just being given official status will help them and this is the first step to recovering many of the native languages within the UK.

Nameless recruitment. This would stop employers from seeing the name of people they are looking to potentially employ during the application process. Discrimination as a result of a person’s name can often be through the employer believing a certain name may mean the person they are employing is from a certain place, country or culture. This may then mean prejudices against that area could reduce the chances of candidates with names from certain origins or even those that sound like they are from a certain origin. It makes it more likely the people selected will be selected based on their skills rather than their background.

  • England and Wales.

Take the definition of marriage out of the legal framework. We believe that marriage is a personal choice and the government should not try to influence people in making that choice. Therefore, we would take the definition of marriage out of the legal framework so governments wouldn’t be allowed to benefit, or disadvantage people based on whether they are married.

  • England and Wales.

Recognise humanist weddings in law. This would only apply to England and Wales as Scotland and Northern Ireland already recognise them. All weddings should be viewed equally, and this should include those that are not religious. Recognising them in law would mean allowing couples to just have a humanist wedding, rather than just a humanist celebration and a civil ceremony to be married in law.

  • England and Scotland.

England should not have a state religion. England’s current state religion is the Christian Church of England. This would be removed as state church as the UK is both religiously diverse and includes those without religion at all. Therefore, no religion should be placed above all others by the state.

  • England only.

Provide free sanitary products and contraceptives. It is extremely concerning that issues such as period poverty still exists within the UK today. Therefore, we propose that condoms, femidoms, tampons, the pill, sanitary towels and menstrual cups should be provided free of charge. For distribution providing them through; schools, universities, food banks, toilets, homeless shelters, women’s refuges, workplaces and through the NHS GP surgeries will be a priority.

  • England only.

Cap the Cost of Child Care. Childcare costs in the UK are far too high and this affects women who end up quitting their jobs to stay at home. Childcare includes both child minders looking after children at home and nurseries. Childcare is extremely beneficial to parents, society and the economy. It means parents have more money to spend on other things and can work with the peace of mind that their child is being cared for. This means more people in work growing the economy and it will reduce the number of people moving away from the UK due to unfavourable childcare policies. This policy would cap the cost of childcare at £140 per month and poorer families will get it for free, a policy currently used in Sweden. This would be available until children start education, under our plans this would be at age 7.

  • England and Wales.

Decriminalise sex work. Whilst prostitution itself is legal in the UK, many of the activities related to it are illegal. A new law should be based off of New Zealand’s 2003 Prostitution reform act which decriminalised prostitution. The new law would aim to protect sex workers from violence, abuse, allow for the enforcement of safer practices and it would also try to reduce discrimination against prostitutes. The primary focus would be on protecting those who take part in prostitution from harm. Management of brothels would be decriminalised, and strict rules would be placed on their management practices. It would also further ensure no one under 18 is able to buy prostitution or become a prostitute.

Remove the two doctors’ rule on abortions before 20 weeks pregnancy. We believe that women should have control over their bodies and their own private medical decisions. Whilst the 1967 abortion act means women who want an abortion must have the approval of two doctors, we would make abortions available simply on request within the NHS before 20 weeks into a pregnancy. After this time, they should be available with the approval of two doctors as is currently the case.

  • England, Scotland and Wales.

Ban protests of medical decisions outside hospitals and clinics. This would be a one-mile exclusion zone and protesters would not be allowed to approach those going to clinics or hospitals regardless of how far away the clinic or hospital is. This would also ban the protest of abortions outside clinics by introducing buffer zones around all clinics.

Remove sanctions for those receiving abortions from criminal law. Those receiving abortions should only be regulated under medical regulations rather than under criminal law as it currently is under the Abortion Act of 1967.

Ban non-consensual and unnecessary intersex operations. We would ban operations on intersex people if they are both not medically necessary and are done at an age where consent cannot be asked of the person who is having that operation.

  • England only.

Ban parents from smacking their children. Whilst this is already the law in Scotland and Wales, we support extending the ban on smacking to England and Northern Ireland. This is because children should be protected from physical punishment in the same way adults are protected.

LGBTQ+ rights:

  • England only.

Relationship and sex education (RSE) that ensures all students learn about LGBTQ+ issues. RSE in schools must include students learning about the LGBTQ+ community, including teaching about different identities, different prejudices that members of the community may encounter, different types of sex and promoting awareness of past and current LGBTQ+ movements. We are pushing for the rest of the UK to adopt a RSE curriculum like Scotland’s, which does all of these things. As well as this, it does not let parents ‘opt-out’ their children from partaking in any part of this curriculum.

  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Reform the GRA to allow self-determination. We would simplify the process for someone to change their gender. The current system is lengthy and difficult requiring people to provide evidence they have lived in their new gender for two years, a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, details of medical treatment they have had, legally declaring they will live in that gender until death and finally to pay a small fee.

To replace this, we are advocating for self-determination where, rather than it being left up to other people to decide whether someone is the gender they say they are, the person themselves gets to decide. This has already been successfully used in multiple European countries such as Portugal and the Republic of Ireland. The Equality Act will also still be in place which allows single-gender services to exclude transgender people in limited circumstances and other protections will also still exist such as protections against indecency.

  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Remove gender markers on legal documents. There is currently no non-binary or intersex option on legal documents, meaning that often people are forced to identify themselves using a gender that they are not. We therefore support removing gender markers on legal documents, including passports. Whilst an alternative solution would be to use a statutory declaration system where people could choose between male, female and an ‘X’ marker, we have concerns about creating a list of people who identify as neither male or female.

  • England, Scotland and Wales.

End the spousal veto. Divorce and annulment legislation already exists. Couples should be free to make the decision of whether to continue the marriage, yet this should not be tied to one of their gender. It is open to abuse and instead leaves the person who is legally changing their gender at a huge disadvantage- with them often having to wait a long period of time. This has already been abolished in Scotland.

Ban Conversion Therapy. This has not been done, even though it has been widely condemned, even by healthcare professionals. Conversion therapy refers to “any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity.” It should be noted that this was written in the Conservatives LGBT+ action plan from 2018, yet still hasn’t been implemented.

Separate prison units for transgender inmates to provide specialised support. Separate prison units will allow the staff for these units to be specifically trained in dealing with transgender prisoners. They would be trained both in how to be sensitive to trans issues and how to give them support if needed.

Participation in competitive sports at a for Transgender athletes will be up to individual sporting bodies. As each sport is different in most cases it should be left down to individual sporting bodies to decide whether transgender athletes are able to compete in the sport as is already the cause under the Equality Act. However, this must have clear evidence behind it and the government may step in if it believes Transgender athletes have been wrongly denied participation in certain sports.

  • England only.

Increase the quality and number of gender identity clinics. The current state of gender identity clinics within the UK has led to enormous wait times which is why the system needs to be drastically improved. There should be three key goals in improving gender identity clinics. Firstly, to increase both the number of gender identity clinics and the number of staff within them. This increase the number of staff will be achieved both with a general increase in pay and clinics but also by a one-time payment for those that move to a gender identity clinic. The second is to ensure that GPs are aware that they both can and should diagnose gender dysphoria and handle Hormone Replacement Therapy prescriptions. Finally, we should abandon the gatekeeping method used now in favour of informed consent as a model for healthcare provision much like used by indigo has been using in Manchester. This will reduce wait times and increase the quality of care delivered.