JK Rowling reportedly donates £70,000 to group’s Supreme Court appeal over ‘woman’ definition

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has reportedly donated £70,000 to an anti-trans group’s long-running battle over the legal definition of the word “woman”. 

Rowling reportedly pledged the money to a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of For Women Scotland (FWS), which raised a legal challenge over the definition of the word “women” in the 2018 Gender Representation on Public Boards Act. 

The legislation aims to ensure public boards have a 50 per cent women gender balance in non-executive member positions, and it includes a definition of the word “woman” that is inclusive of trans women who have a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

FWS argued including trans women in this definition would impact women’s rights and expressed concerns about wider implications for single-sex spaces.

The anti-trans pressure group lost an appeal at the Court of Session in November

On Friday (16 February), FWS announced that they had been granted permission to appeal the decision to the UK Supreme Court. The group quickly set up a CrowdJustice fundraiser to cover legal costs of the appeal.

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Shortly after the crowdfunding campaign was launched, JK Rowling donated £70,000 to FWS, according to reports by the Timesthe TelegraphScottish Daily Express and the Daily Mail

JK Rowling wears a dark blue dress with a matching cap as she appears at a movie premiere
JK Rowling reportedly donated £70,000 to For Women Scotland’s crowdfunder for its legal battle over the legal definition of the word “woman”. (Getty)

The outlets linked a donation of that sum from a user identified as “JK” to the Harry Potter author. The donation was accompanied by a post that said: “You know how proud I am to know you. Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance. This is truly a historic case.”

PinkNews reached out to representatives of JK Rowling, who said that they do not comment on her personal donations. The representative added that the author is not making an official comment. 

FWS wrote on X/Twitter that the group was “uncharacteristically struck dumb” after donations to the campaign, and identified Rowling as a donor. 

A the time of writing, the crowdfunder has raised more than £133,400 from over 2,000 individuals. FWS wrote on the campaign that it believed it’s “important that ‘sex’ is clarified as referring to biology” for “women to have full rights and protection”. 

Rowling has faced considerable backlash for her comments on the trans community, including from cast members of both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises

She first came under scrutiny in 2019 when she showed support for gender critical campaigner Maya Forstater. A year later, in 2020, Rowling criticised an op-ed that used the phrase “people who menstruated”. 

In the years since, she’s continued to double down on her beliefs despite push back from LGBTQ+ and trans people as well as allies.

Rowling claimed in a 2023 podcast series, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, that she “never set out to upset anyone” with her views, and she’s been “profoundly” misunderstood. 

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