In the rules against violence against women, we talk about sex and not "gender identity": open letter to the European Parliament
Violence against women will not be combated if the texts of laws and treaties do not clearly refer to sex and not to "gender". We join feminist and gender critical groups in an appeal to European parliamentarians who will express their opinion on the Commission's anti-violence proposal: write clearly in the text that women and girls are the female sex and do not leave any opening to gender ideology

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We also signed the letter to the European Commission on combating violence against women and domestic abuse drawn up by WORIADS, coalition of citizens-i gender critical which aims to inform and raise awareness among European institutions about the dangers of gender identity.

The letter calls for European rules on violence against women to clearly recognize the category of biological sex. Below is the complete text which will be sent to the members of the European Parliament who will express their opinion on the proposal at the end of this month, among whom is the Italian Pina Picierno (PD, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group).

The problem is that the Istanbul Convention - which is the European reference treaty on violence against women - contains the expressions "gender identity" and "gender", referring however to "the freedom of women from gender stereotypes, or the non -obligation to conform one's behavior to the roles assigned to traditional femininity", explained Marina Terragni in a recent article (here).

The subsequent re-signification of the word "gender" has effectively transformed the Convention into an instrument of LGBTQ pressure groups despite originally being designed solely and exclusively for women. Although the text of the Convention cannot be amended, it is necessary to build regulatory safeguards against this misinterpretation and cannibalization.

Frances Fitzgerald (EPP, Ireland), Evin Incir (S&D Sweden), Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé (EPP, France), Pina Picierno (S&D, Italy), Maria Soraya Rodriguez Ramos (Renew, Spain), Lucia Duris Nicholsonova (Renew, Slovakia ), Diana Riba i Giner (Spain, EFA), Sylwia Spurek (Poland, EFA), Christine Anderson (Germany, ID), Nicolaus Fest (Germany, ID), Margarita de la Pisa Carrion (Spain, ECR), Assita Kanko ( Belgium, ECR), Malin Bjork (Sweden, Left) and Eugenia Rodriguez Palop (Spain, Left),

We are writing to you about the European Commission proposal on combating violence against women and domestic abuse and to the amendments to that proposal which are currently being examined by the Committees on Civil Liberties and Women's Rights of the European Parliament. WORIADS is a non-partisan coalition of citizens, activists and professionals from across Europe who insist that biological sex is real, important and immutable and should not be confused with gender.

We believe that the proposal could be significantly improved by recognizing that biological sex is now often confused with gender identity and that this has serious consequences for women's sex-based rights. Deputies Lukas Mandl and Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé tabled amendments recognizing that women are a biological sex class with specific needs and experiences and we ask you to support them. These amendments:

They recognize that biological sex is 1) real, important and a key factor underlying violence against women and 2) they provide clarity in terminology, data collection, education and training programs defining women (and girls) as “female” persons (AM 745 Mandl)

Ensure that no female victim of violence excludes herself or suffers retraumatization because she is forced to share accommodation and toilets with male people, providing specific provisions for shelters “exclusively for female victims”. Such shelters can of course exist alongside “gender-neutral” shelters. (AM 564 Colin-Oesterlé)

Ensure that women, parents, health professionals and others can speak freely about sex and gender issues that affect them, making it an aggravated crime to commit acts of violence against a person following a hostile attitude towards the victim due to his or her “political or other beliefs or opinions” (AM 956 Colin-Oesterlé).

We wish to insist that women and girls experience a disproportionate level of male violence and sexual assault on the basis of their gendered bodies, regardless of any internal sense of gender or “gender identity.” For this reason, we ask you to reject the numerous amendments that seek to replace the term "sex" with "gender" and to extend special protections to sexual minorities, such as homosexuals and males who self-identify as women. These groups should be covered by other legal instruments, such as the EU Victims Directive.

We also ask you to reject the amendments that pave the way for controversial concepts related to gender in children's sex education and those who suggest that children can consent to hormonal and surgical procedures that alter their lives to change their sex. In particular, we invite you to oppose the amendments 345 and 800 by deputies Angel and others and to amendments 355 and 808 by Spurek and others, which relate to children's ability to give informed consent to gender confirmation treatment as if the issue was already widely accepted and resolved. Actually, Countries such as Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom have already recognized that there are very few scientific evidence or consensus about the fact that the use of puberty blockers, hormones of the opposite sex and surgery, often with irreversible effects and lifelong medicalization of healthy bodies, is the best option for these children. We also reject the idea of “comprehensive sexuality education” which, according to United Nations guidelines, recommends asking children as young as 5 to “reflect on how they feel about their biological sex and gender” and asks 9-year-old children to recognize that everyone has a "gender identity" and to "learn to define their own".

Furthermore, we believe that Amendment 390 by MPs Angel and others seeks to silence medical professionals and parents who speak out against the gender-affirming model of care, equating their concerns with “hate speech” and pushing the coercive and unfounded narrative that these children will commit suicide if they are not supported. We ask you to reject amendment 390.

Best regards,


Original text here



Cry for Recognition (BE)

Observatoire des Fundamentalisms in Brussels (BE)


Initiative “Lasst Frauen Sprechen!” (DE)

LGB Alliance eV (DE)

WDI Finland (FI)

WDI France (FR)

Ypomoni (FR)

44 Vilaines Filles (FR)

Le Partage (FR)

Women's Space Ireland (IE)

The Countess Advocacy (IE)

WDI Italy (IT)

RadFem Italy (IT)

Standing For Women Sweden (SE)

Women's Rights Network (UK)

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