2021 Manifesto: Welsh Conservatives

Tackle discrimination

  • Adopt a zero tolerance culture across Welsh Government to ensure no discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, religion or disability

It is encouraging that the Welsh Conservatives specify ‘sex’ as a characteristic here but we are concerned that they have not used the proper terminology of the Equality Act 2010, and have not included pregnancy and maternity.

  • Engage with LGBT+ stakeholders to address discrimination and intolerance, and ban so called conversion therapy in Wales

Conversion therapy that attempts to change a person’s natural sexual orientation is a harmful, coercive practice that is rightly abhorred. We have grave concerns, however, about the drive to label as ‘conversion therapy’ any form of counselling or support other than unequivocal ‘affirmation’ for children and young people experiencing gender distress.

Our position paper goes into more detail on this. It is not clear how the Welsh Conservatives define ‘conversion therapy’ here.

  • Expand services and ensure increased sustainable funding for prevention, protection and support for women who have experienced domestic abuse and sexual violence

Would these services be single sex or open to anyone who ‘identifies’ as a woman? Our blogpost outlines why single sex services and facilities are so important for women who have experienced domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Political parties need to be very clear that women have the right to single sex services and to ensure that guidance on this issue is unequivocal.

  • Enshrine the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) into Welsh law

We welcome this, as with the Welsh Labour manifesto. Article 1 of the UN Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) defines discrimination as:

…any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex (our emphasis) which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.

  • Support communities to challenge violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence in all its forms, especially through utilising education

Again, this is positive, but much would depend on definitions, resources and training. We also welcome the clear use of the term ‘violence against women’ rather than the vague ‘gender-based violence’ that has become so common among politicians and which masks the true nature of the issue.

Read Welsh Conservative’s manifesto here