Merched Cymru files complaint against Mark Drakeford for sexist response to Laura Anne Jones

Formal Complaint to the Standards Commissioner

On behalf of Merched Cymru we wish to lodge a formal complaint against First Minister Mark Drakeford regarding his sexist and aggressive response to a question from Laura Anne Jones MS in the Senedd on 9 May 2023.

His angry dismissal of her concerns as ‘shrill’ was clearly discriminatory. This insult is reserved exclusively for women who men wish to silence or ignore. It is a sexist trope that has no place in the Senedd, and which we had assumed was now a part of history.

The ad hominem linking of Ms Jones’ question on the meaning of the word ‘woman’ (an issue which goes to the heart of our sex-based rights) with racism and attacks on asylum-seekers was highly disingenuous and a clear attempt both to avoid the issue and to discredit Ms Jones personally. Continue reading “Merched Cymru files complaint against Mark Drakeford for sexist response to Laura Anne Jones”

Sex, gender and inclusivity in sport: Senedd briefing

At the end of November we held a briefing event at the Senedd in partnership with Fair Play for Women. The private event was sponsored by Laura Anne Jones (thank you to Laura and her staff) and held under Chatham House rules in order to encourage open debate. We were absolutely delighted by the number of attendees, and particularly delighted that all political parties were represented, no doubt encouraged by our focus on finding ways to ensure that sports is truly accessible to all.

We heard from three expert speakers: rowing coach Jane Sullivan; Dr Jon Pike, Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association; and Fiona McAnena, Director of Sport at Fair Play for Women. The remainder of the session was given over to comments and questions from the attendees. They considered the particular barriers that women and girls face – cultural, social, biological, economic – and the need to balance fairness and safety alongside inclusion.

Continue reading “Sex, gender and inclusivity in sport: Senedd briefing”

Policy-making in Wales: Evidence-free, anti-democratic, and misogynist

Today Hannah Blythyn, the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, gave an update on the Welsh Government’s LGBTQ+ Action Plan.

The responses to the consultation have not yet been published – possibly because many were critical of the way in which the Plan undermined the sex-based rights of women and girls – but Welsh Government are pushing ahead regardless. Continue reading “Policy-making in Wales: Evidence-free, anti-democratic, and misogynist”

An open letter to Mark Drakeford from Fair Play for Women

Roviel Detanamo, Tania Edwards and Angie Marino all lost their places in the 2021 Olympics to male athletes.

Dear Mark Drakeford

You propose dialogue and understanding to answer the questions about trans gender inclusion in female sport. We would welcome a dialogue with you. Like you, we favour inclusion. That is made possible in sport by creating categories for different bodies. Children compete in age groups because otherwise they would be disadvantaged. Older athletes find meaningful competition through masters events with their own age group. In combat sports, weight classes are used too. But the category most commonly used in sport, the one with its own section in the UK Equality Act, is sex. Male puberty confers so great an advantage in gender-affected sport that it is not fair – and in some sports not safe – to have male and female bodies in the same events. There is an average sex performance gap of at least 10%, and in some sports up to 50%, while races are won by fractions of one percent. Without sex categories, all sport would be male sport. There would be no female Olympians or World Champions. The few exceptions like equestrian and shooting only prove the rule. Continue reading “An open letter to Mark Drakeford from Fair Play for Women”

Mark Drakeford is wrong. Transwomen are not women.

In the Senedd’s plenary session yesterday, MS Laura Anne Jones asked the First Minister to discuss the participation of trans-identifying athletes in sports.

First Minister Mark Drakeford stated:

My starting point is … that transgender women are women

Our First Minister is making clear his belief in an ideology which has no foundation in reality – biological, medical, scientific. Men cannot become women. Being a woman is not a feeling. It is not a performance, a simulacrum of femininity through the acquisition of a floral dress, a new lipstick and a collection of pink and fluffy stereotypes. Our femaleness is written in to every cell of our bodies and impacts on every aspect of our lives. We do not give permission for men to colonise that reality. Continue reading “Mark Drakeford is wrong. Transwomen are not women.”