Home > News > Scottish Government responds to thirty-five recommendations from Working Group on Non-Binary Equality
13 July 2022   |    News
Today, the Scottish Government has published its response to thirty-five recommendations from the Working Group on Non-binary Equality, as well as a report from the group explaining its recommendations. The Scottish Government convened this group to suggest ways that they could work to make Scotland a safer and more inclusive place for non-binary people.
As these are landing on Non-Binary Awareness week, we want to make the case that it’s important that awareness becomes action.
We were proud to be part of the working group, and think that the recommendations the group made were all important and realistic things that could be done to improve non-binary people’s lives – and indeed lots of the things we recommended would improve things for people of all genders.
We really welcomed the opportunity to address these issues and make recommendations directly to the Scottish Government. This was an important first step towards improving the Government’s understanding about what non-binary people’s experiences and needs are, and how barriers we face can be addressed. We are also really pleased that eight of our recommendations were accepted in full, and that there’s definite willingness to make (or attempt to make) progress in other areas.
However, we definitely think that the Scottish Government could have been more ambitious in its response to the Group’s recommendations. In particular, we’re disappointed that a lot of the Scottish Government’s response indicates that they think the issues addressed by the group will be solved by existing work the Government is doing. We’re worried that this won’t be the case – as we know, and the group made clear in its report, that non-binary people’s needs are rarely considered in making policy and law, or in the design or delivery of services.
The Scottish Government are planning to design a non-binary action plan by Spring next year. We hope that the action plan will set out concrete, specific steps they will take to improve non-binary people’s lives, above and beyond an assumption that doing more of the same will make a meaningful difference.
In June 2019, the Scottish Government announced their decision not to include non-binary people in reform of the Gender Recognition Act. Instead, they set up a working group to investigate ‘other ways’ they could progress equality for non-binary people.
The Working Group met over the course of a year and a half, to discuss the issues, challenges, and barriers non-binary people face, and to propose solutions to these through recommendations.
It included non-binary community members, staff working at LGBTI equality organisations, and academics with relevant knowledge and understanding of non-binary lives and equality.
The working group made recommendations across a broad range of areas – including healthcare, data and law, and access to services.
You can read all of the group’s recommendations in the report: Report And Recommendations of the Working Group on Non-Binary Equality
Pages 5 – 7 of the PDF summarise all of thirty-five recommendations, but you can read about them in more detail further into the report.
The Scottish Government has accepted eight of the recommendations in full, fifteen in part and agreed to consider a further eight. Three recommendations were declined.
You can read the Scottish Government’s response here: Scottish Government Response To Recommendations Of The Working Group On Non-Binary Equality
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