Badenoch claims girls developed UTIs due to lack of single-sex toilets at school | Schools

Kemi Badenoch claims that girls at school who did not have access to single-sex toilets developed urinary tract infections because they did not want to use gender-neutral toilets.

The Equality Minister has issued a call for action, asking people to report public bodies that do not provide single-sex spaces or have policies that do not comply with the Equality Act.

She did not name the school or further substantiate the claim.

Citing examples of cases where organizations are alleged to have failed to look at equality law, Badenoch told LBC on Wednesday: “If I had to give an example of a school that has gender-neutral toilets and young girls there don’t they want to use the same toilets as boys, so they didn’t go to the toilet at school and got urinary tract infections.

“It’s obviously a terrible thing, but the school thought they were following guidelines because they had used some policy analysis that was from an organization that didn’t look at equality law.”

She argued that the government’s call for people to report institutions was not about “trying to catch people out”, but that the government wanted to “help people do better”.

The Government’s Equality Office said businesses and other organizations can provide single-sex and cross-sex services, including women-only toilets, changing rooms and fitness classes, “which exclude transgender people of the opposite biological sex who do not have gender Recognition Certificate (GRC)” and that in some cases persons with such certificates may also be excluded.

But the minister claimed some organizations were “fearful of a backlash if they were seen to be wrong”, with cases where organizations felt they had a duty to allow access to such services to self-identifying transgender people.

Badenoch dismissed claims that asking for examples of incorrect guidance on single-sex spaces would prompt transphobic comments.

When asked if this would be a consequence of her call for examples, she told Sky News: “No, absolutely not.

“But that’s one of the things that happens whenever the government tries to bring clarity to this space, there’s criticism that it’s about transphobia, and as we’ve seen with the Cass review, they actually stop even clinicians from doing the right thing , creating a medical scandal.

“All we’re saying is if you think the guidelines in your institution are wrong, let us know, we can look at them, particularly the public institutions, and then we can provide clarity.”

“It’s not going to create transphobic comments, it’s sending an email saying here are the guidelines, this is wrong and then we can see if there’s anything we can do.”

Badenoch’s call comes after Health Secretary Victoria Atkins revealed plans to overhaul the NHS constitution to “ensure respect for biological sex”.

The changes will mean patients in England will be able to be treated in single-sex wards and transgender people put in their own rooms.

Government guidelines on how schools in England deal with transgender and young people require schools to maintain separate toilets and changing rooms for each gender after the age of eight, allow staff and pupils to ignore the pronouns preferred by children in social transition, and to sports and physical activities to be segregated by gender if there are safety concerns.

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