ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS

All I Want For Christmas focussed on encouraging businesses to provide safe spaces for women and girls.

So we concentrated on writing letter and emails, tweeting businesses and leafleting shops, pubs, restaurants and anywhere else we found to pique people's interest and encourage businesses to get on board! We had a selection of "themes" running on Twitter.

Thanks For The Support.png

WHAT WE
CAMPAIGNED FOR

Retail Spaces

Women might reasonably expect that fitting rooms labelled “WOMEN” are single sex spaces, so to find themselves unexpectedly in the presence of males when they are in a state of undress will be uncomfortable and may be distressing. We contacted a range of retailers to tell them that most women are not comfortable with mixed sex changing rooms.

 

We explained that ALL customers need to feel comfortable and safe when using their fitting rooms, not just the male customers.  We asked if they considered the impact that this will have on young girls who are embarrassed at their changing bodies, or on women whose cultural practices mean that a mixed sex environment when undressing is absolutely prohibited?  We explained that we felt they were prioritising the feelings of a small number of biologically male customers over and above that of women and girls and encourage them to review their policies accordingly.

Leisure Centres & Gyms

Many gyms and leisure centres have a policy that effectively allows any male free access to changing rooms used by women and girls including toilets and shower areas, putting the safety of women and girls at risk, and ignoring our rights to privacy and dignity. 

 

We contacted leisure centres and gyms to express concern about mixed sex changing areas, highlighting the following investigation: 

 

  • The Times: Unisex changing rooms put women in danger - Read More

 

They found that “Almost 90% of reported sexual assaults, harassment and voyeurism in swimming pool and sports-centre changing rooms happen in unisex facilities, which make up less than half the total”. 

We asked leisure centres and gyms to review their policies with a view to ensuring the safety, privacy and dignity of women and girls and establishing single-sex changing areas again.​

Schools

Schools are increasingly changing their toilet provision to “gender neutral”, which means mixed-sex, without consulting either parents or students. If anyone had any doubt as to whether this was a good idea, recent headlines should resolve that doubt.

This article details precisely why this is such a bad idea. Specifically, we learn that:

  • Boys play practical jokes in the toilets

  • Boys damage and play with sanitary equipment and sanitary provisions

  • Girls avoid using toilets at all during the school days (with health implications)

  • Flawed legal advice has been given by the EHRC  

 

The education and well-being of our girls must not be jeopardised because schools either do not know that they can and must provide sufficient single-sex toilets in accordance with the School Premises (England) Regulations 2012 and the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999, or are simply ignoring this requirement.

Failure to comply with these regulations particularly impacts those girls who come from a cultural background that prohibits the mixing of the sexes in such environments indicating that schools are failing in their duty to produce an Equality Impact Assessment of any mixed sex toilet provision.

 

We campaign for the Department For Education to:

  • Issue unambiguous guidance to schools in respect of their statutory duty to provide adequate single-sex toilets.

  • Ensure that this guidance is followed without delay, and require Ofsted to enforce it.

Prisons

Men are being placed in women’s prisons if they “identify as a woman” and that since 2016 male prisoners in the UK have been allowed to ask to be allocated to a women’s prison. What’s worse, being found guilty of serious sexual assault or rape is no bar to being so allocated.

We joined with the campaign for the sex-based rights of women in prison at Keep Prisons Single Sex to voice our objection that this is simply not acceptable and must stop. Women should not be used as human shields for men who claim a vulnerable identity.

Single sex spaces are being removed despite legal protections provided by The Equality Act - this is unlawful.