The Government Transgender Action Plan
On the 8th of December 2011 the government officially launched the first ever transgender action plan. The plan commits government departments including the Department of Health, the Department of Work and Pensions, the UK Boarder Agency and the Government Equality Office, amongst others, to work actively to work towards promoting human rights and equality in the lives of trans people.
Here, on youtube, Equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, announces the launch of the first ever transgender action plan, plus trans activist, Harri Cole Weeks, talks about his personal experiences and why the action plan will make a difference.
The Government Equalities Office latest bulletin containing more information can be found by clicking here.
To see and to save a copy of the plan (in adobe reader pdf format), click here, or on the image below
Press for Change’s Opinion
The government has announced its first transgender action plan. The plan commits government departments including the Department of Health, Department of Work and Pensions, the UK Boarder Agency and the Government Equality Office, amongst others, to work actively to work towards promoting human rights and equality in the lives of trans people. Proposals include ensuring both job centres and business work together to ensure transgender people are recruited in to the work place, and that transgender people are made aware of the opportunities to participate in civil life.
Press for Change was formed in 1992 to seek respect and equality for all trans people. Progressive laws over the last ten years have made trans people’s lives more comfortable in many ways. However all of the gains made were as a consequence of decisions in the European Courts. The action plan is the first time that government has progressed on areas of improvement, of their own volition. Press for Change welcomes the action plan and the commitments made within it.
We look forward to continuing our roll in advising government and hope that within a few years we will start to see significant improvement in transgender life quality.
Proffessor of Equality Law, Stephen Whittle OBE, at Manchester Metropolitan University and Vice President of Press for Change has said
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Some Background of the plan
The concept of the Transgender Action plan started back in March 2010 when representatives from 27 different trans groups and organisations across the UK were invited to the Government Equalities Office in Victoria London for a days workshop, they broke out into small working groups to identify the key areas they felt needed addressing.
By the end of that day they had identified 11 areas:
The Minister of State for Equality (Lynne Featherstone) made a holding statement to the House on 16 December:
In addition to these group meetings, some organisations and individuals also had their own consultations with the GEO to offer additional input.
These workshops provided information for an ongoing document highlighting the issues that transgender people felt were important and relevent to their needs in the United Kingdon, the document was entitled the Statement of Need which is compiled and written by Paula Dooley, a volunteer and trustee of GIRES and found here. It has to be again stressed that there was considerable input to the statement of need, with more trans groups and organisations around the UK conducting their own workshops during their meetings and feeding these back, at the workshop during Sparkle in 2011 over 60 people attended.
This document along with the various online surveys that the Government Equalities Office conducted produced the input for the transgender action plan.