Legislation against violence against women should 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 'gender'. We join feminist and gender critical groups in an appeal to MEPs who will vote on the Commission's anti-violence proposal: write clearly in the text that women and girls are the female sex and leave no room for gender ideology
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We too signed the letter to the European Commission on combating violence against women and domestic abuse drafted by WORIADS, coalition of citizens-i gender critical which aims to inform and raise awareness on the dangers of gender identity.

The letter calls for European regulations on violence against women to clearly recognise the biological sex category. Below is the full text that will be sent to the members of the European Parliament who will vote on the proposal at the end of this month, among whom is Italian Pina Picierno (PD, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group).

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

The subsequent re-signification of the word 'gender' has in fact turned the convention into an instrument of LGBT pressure groups despite the fact that it was originally intended solely and exclusively for women. Although the text of the convention cannot be amended, it is necessary to construct normative safeguards against this misinterpretation and cannibalisation.

Nelle norme contro la violenza sulle donne si parli di sesso e non di "identità di genere": lettera aperta al Parlamento Europeo

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 write to you regarding the European Commission proposal on combating violence against women and domestic abuse and the amendments to this proposal that are currently being examined by the European Parliament's Committees on Civil Liberties and Women's Rights. WORIADS is a non-partisan coalition of citizens, activists and professionals from all over 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 greatly improved by recognising that biological sex is now often confused with gender identity and that this has serious consequences for women's gender-based rights. MEPs Lukas Mandl and Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé tabled amendments recognising that women are a biological sex class with specific needs and experiences and we ask you to support them. These amendments:

They recognise that biological sex is 1) real, important and a key factor behind violence against women and 2) provide clarity in terminology, data collection, education and training programmes by defining women (and girls) as 'female' persons (AM 745 Mandl)

Ensure that no female victim of violence self-excludes or suffers retraumatisation because she is forced to share accommodation and toilet facilities with menmaking specific provisions for the shelters 'exclusively for female victims'.. Such refuges can of course exist alongside 'gender-neutral' refuges. (AM 564 Colin-Oesterlé)

Ensuring that women, parents, health workers and others can speak freely about sex and gender issues that affect themmaking it an aggravated offence to commit acts of violence against a person as a result of a hostile attitude towards the victim on account of his or her 'political or other convictions or opinions' (AM 956 Colin-Oesterlé).

We wish to insist that women and girls suffer a disproportionate level of male violence and sexual assault on the basis of their sexual bodiesregardless 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 minoritiessuch as homosexuals and males who self-identify as women. These groups should be covered by other legal instruments, such as the EU directive on victims.

We also ask you to reject the amendments paving the way for controversial concepts related to gender in children's sex education and those suggesting that children may consent to hormonal and surgical procedures altering their lives to change their sex. In particular, we invite you to oppose the amendments 345 and 800 by Mr Angel and others and Amendments 355 and 808 by Mr Spurek and others, referring to the ability of children to give informed consent to sex confirmation treatment as if the issue was already widely accepted and resolved. In reality, Countries such as Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom have already recognised that there are very few evidence or scientific consensus on the fact that the use of puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeryoften with irreversible effects and lifelong medicalisation of healthy bodies, is the best option for these children. We also reject the idea of 'comprehensive sex education' which, according to UN guidelines, advises asking 5-year-olds to 'reflect on how they feel about their biological sex and gender' and asks 9-year-olds to recognise that everyone has a 'gender identity' and to 'learn to define their own'.

Furthermore, we believe that Amendment 390 by MEPs Angel and others seeks to silencing medical professionals and parents who speak out against the model of care based on the 'affirmation' of genderequating their concerns with 'hate speech' and pushing the coercive and unfounded narrative according to which these children will commit suicide if they are not indulged. We ask you to reject Amendment 390.

Sincerely yours,


Original text here



Cry for Recognition (BE)

Observatoire des Fondamentalismes à Bruxelles (BE)


Initiative 'Lasst Frauen Sprechen!' (DE)

LGB Alliance e.V. (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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