MoJ to consider ‘pregnant and breastfeeding people’ in equality framework

Prison officers are being asked to consider the needs of “pregnant people” and “breastfeeding people” in official guidance from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The MoJ equality analysis policy framework, a publicly available document, gives guidance to prison officers to ensure facilities are compliant with equality legislation.

Published on April 20 2023, the guidance asks officers to consider: “How are pregnant or breastfeeding people catered for when working/visiting a prison?”

Officers are also encouraged to use “gender neutral” language and are asked: “If you are going to be based in a physical site: have you considered physical changes to the environment? For example: gender neutral toilet facilities, showers, changing rooms, gender neutral uniforms.”

In August, the Government announced plans to make single sex toilets the default for public buildings, due to privacy concerns about mixed facilities, including gender neutral toilets.

Announcing the plans, Kemi Badenoch, the minister for women and equalities, said: “It is important that everybody has privacy and dignity when using public facilities. Yet the move towards ‘gender neutral’ toilets has removed this fundamental right for women and girls.

“These proposals will ensure every new building in England is required to provide separate male and female or unisex facilities and publish guidance to explain the difference, protecting the dignity, privacy, and safety of all.”

‘An inclusive organisation’

The MoJ document outlines ways to make sure prison staff, inmates and visitors are not discriminated against based on nine “protected characteristics”, which includes sex and race, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Under a segment on sex, the document states: “Sex is defined as male and female. However, as an inclusive organisation, we would also consider the needs of people who identify as non-binary, gender fluid, and so on.”

Non-binary people do not not identify as either male or female, and gender fluid people change their gender day by day.

Maya Forstater, the executive director of Sex Matters, a human rights organisation that campaigns for clarity on sex in law and everyday life, said: “This fanciful and alarming official policy is hard line trans activism and suggests that fellow employees and prisoners exist to validate the trans-identified person’s identity.

“The guidance on sex says it is defined as male and female, but then it immediately undermines this by saying that some people are ‘non-binary, gender fluid, and so on’. It also refers to ‘pregnant people’ instead of women.

“It is very concerning that blatantly politicised language made it past officials and ministers. The Ministry of Justice’s senior officials, including the permanent secretary Antonia Romeo, must act decisively to stop this happening again.

“This guidance needs urgent revision if the Secretary of State plans to ensure that gender ideology is fully rooted out from prison operations.”

The document’s section on preventing discrimination due to people’s sexual orientation asks: “Does the workplace culture support and encourage individuals to be open and transparent about their sexual orientation? That is: supportive of LGBT+ events, flying the flag, including reception of offenders/new starters/visitors into establishments/offices/apps.”

The guidance continues: “Do policies include promotion of inclusion for the LGBT+ community and how this may be policed by others if any bullying/discrimination found? That is: including celebration of pride events/awareness days.”

In November, Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, ordered two prisons to remove pride progress flags after a Conservative MP raised concerns the symbols promoted “the idea you can be born in the wrong body”.

The Pride Progress flag was flown at the entrance of two London category B prisons; the flag features extra stripes on top of the rainbow flag so as to include transgender people.

A spokesperson for the MoJ said: “No prisoners have access to gender neutral toilets.

“This mandatory guidance ensures staff comply with the law – as every public body must.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.

Previous post UPDATE 2-Hamas turns Gaza streets into deadly maze for Israeli troops
Next post Tia Carrere Says She is ‘So Proud’ of Daughter Heading to College in Fall: ‘I Never Went’