Public Sector Equality Duty (Sex)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10th January 2019.

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Photo of Joan McAlpine Joan McAlpine Scottish National Party

Is the cabinet secretary aware of recent research by the academic consultancy, Murray Blackburn Mackenzie, that found that only seven out of the 32 local authorities in Scotland had a clear definition of sex as a protected characteristic, while others conflated sex with gender identity, which has no definition in law, or gender reassignment, which is a completely separate protected characteristic? Many Scottish Government documents also conflate those things. That undermines the Equality Act 2010 exemptions that are designed to protect women and girls. Does the cabinet secretary agree that to support women and girls we need clear data on sex, and would she consider issuing guidelines to ensure that every public authority in Scotland adheres to that aspect of the Equality Act 2010?