United Nations women’s group attacked by anti-trans trolls after backing trans women and self-ID

A group of trans activists celebrate during a Pride festival

The United Nations women’s group UN Women has been inundated with gender-critical backlash over its unabashed support of trans women.

The organisation – which focuses on the empowerment of women through gender equality – posted a Tuesday (10 January) tweet highlighting the “abusive restrictions” that trans women face in attempting to gain legal recognition of their gender identity in many countries.

“Trans women have the right to recognition of their self-identified gender – but in most countries, this is not available or subject to abusive restrictions,” the tweet read.

“This makes even everyday tasks difficult and potentially dangerous. Let’s demand change.”

The post was quickly met with an influx of gender-critical users, who began making baseless criticisms about the United Nations “disrespecting women” for affirming the rights of trans people.

Others used various anti-trans dog whistles about being able to “self-identity as 20 years younger” while also misgendering trans women.

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Canterbury Labour MP and so-called gender critic Rosie Duffield also commented on the post, saying that she believed self-identification is not a “universally accepted ‘right’ at all”.

“As a member of parliament in England, I will continue to work with other legislators to stop self-ID from destroying women’s rights,” she added.

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Despite the influx of anti-trans rhetoric, LGBTQ+ activists came together to commend UN Women for its defence of trans women’s right to recognition.

“You quite simply love to see it,” one user wrote, while another said: “The UN said trans rights.”

As part of its campaign to “take action” against transphobia in United Nations countries, UN Women urged officials to educate the public on gender identity.

It urged members to “speak out and report violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ women”, while also affirming “LGBTQ+ women and girls in your community”.

The group primarily aims to “set global standards for achieving gender equality” by working with governments around the world to design laws, policies, and programmes.

“Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications,” it explained. “Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.”

Its support of self-ID comes just as Scotland passed the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which makes it easier for trans people to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) by removing the requirement of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

The amendments, which also include lowering the age limit for obtaining a GRC from 18 to 16, were met with pushback from the UK government, who have since vowed to “review” their policy on GRCs for overseas territories.

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