International Women's Day 2022 - Letter to BC Legislative Assembly

Dear Member of the Legislative Assembly,

 

Happy International Women's Day!


We are Women's Space Vancouver, writing on this important day of international solidarity for women  to raise a concern with you regarding women's safety.

Recently, the BC Government implemented a change to allow men or women to identify as the opposite sex (or neither) on official government documents . This change was enacted without consultation or consideration of its consequences on the safety of women.

Women have good reasons to have safety concerns. In Canada, one woman dies every three days at the  hands of an abuser. Rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and violence from men are prevalent in the daily lives of many women, particularly in the lives of Indigenous and Asian women.

The government may have had good intentions, but this change in government policy has given sex offenders and predatory men a welcome mat into women's intimate spaces. The threat posed now is that any predatory male who feels entitled to women's bodies can access all spaces reserved for women by a simple self-declaration.

There are solutions to ensure the safety of everyone, such as providing gender neutral as well as male and female designated washrooms. The government's change of policy is not acceptable because their effort to provide safety for some has resulted in a lack of safety for many others.

We enclose our brochure outlining other problems inherent in this ill-conceived policy change that affects the rights, needs, safety and sensibilities of women. We would like to discuss this situation further and request a meeting with you at your earliest convenience.