Losing Sight of Women’s Rights: Policy Capture

The policy analyists at MBM have written an excellent article about the impact of policy making on vulnerable women within the prison estate. It is an excellent piece of unpaid research and one that we hope will be read carefully by policy makers including Shirley Anne Somerville.

We share the view of Professors Cordelia Fine, Peter Singer and others, that the definition and interpretation of “sex” and “gender” in law and public policy is a legitimate topic of study for academics. We would add that the specific issue of whether and how public bodies have introduced policies based on self-declared gender identity, ahead of any change to the law, and the impact of any such changes, is a matter of public interest and properly deserving of scrutiny.

We recognise that there are different views as to what the content of law and policy should be in this area, and that these are strongly held. We believe that taking the debate forward productively must include considering the evidence available analytically, and in detail, as with any area of public policy.  We therefore encourage any discussion of the article to concentrate on the specific points made in the text.

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