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The charity publishes a Workplace Equality Index which ranks public bodies and private companies. Organisations can pay around £2,500 a year to sign up to Stonewall’s diversity scheme.
Its growing influence has angered some women’s rights campaigners who are demanding a full public inquiry.
Correspondence between Stonewall and various public bodies has been acquired using freedom of information legislation.
Seen by the Daily Telegraph, this includes advice to Merseyside Police to replace the term ‘mother’ with ‘pregnant employee’.
Similar advice was given to Edinburgh University, who Stonewall urged to use a “gender-neutral term, such as ‘parents who has given birth’”.
Stonewall is urging organisation to drop the word “mother”
Stonewall encourages the use of “gender-neutral language”
Stonewall argues gendered language could be offensive to transexuals, whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.
The charity advises organisations to use “gender-neutral language”, and allow employees to use the Mx pronoun, to rank higher on its Workplace Equality Index.
It also urges “a formal commitment to introduce gender-neutral facilities” and “guidance must make clear that all trans employees can use the facilities (e.g. toilets, changing rooms) they feel most comfortable using”.
The latter point is based on the principle of self-identification, where it is up to each individual to declare whether they are male or female and use the corresponding toilets and changing rooms.
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Stonewall supporters at a 2015 pride march
Those who are gender fluid should be given “multiple passcards with different forms of gender expression”, so they can easily change their gender identity.
Stonewall also ask organisations whether senior management have taken part in gay pride parades and promoted “specific messages of bi, nonbinary and trans equality”.
In correspondence with Stonewall, the Welsh government said it had begun using the term “chestfeeding”, rather than “breastfeeding”, to be more gender-inclusive.
It said: “The Maternity and Adoption Leave Policy was updated in April to incorporate gender-neutral language, removing binary gender references wherever possible.
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A 2020 trans pride parade in London
Stonewall supports a “formal commitment to introduce gender-neutral facilities”
“An accompanying policy, previously called New & Expectant Mothers Policy has been renamed ‘Policy for Pregnant or Nursing Employees’.
“It has been revised to use non-gendered language, using the umbrella term ‘nursing’ to cover breastfeeding and chestfeeding.
“There are specific references to chestfeeding and we have ensured that the policy is inclusive for trans and non-binary parents.”
Government organisations which participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index include the army, MI6, Home Office and Department for International Trade.
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Maya Forstater, who co-founded the Sex Matters campaign group, argued Stonewall has managed to “capture” state institutions.
She said: “We think it needs a public inquiry as to how it happened and how we take care that this kind of capture doesn’t happen again.”
Dr Nicola Williams, who heads Fair Play for Women, added: “It’s almost as if Stonewall has become a government department in its own right, the government is almost outsourcing its views on equality.”
Liz Truss is reportedly advising Government departments to withdraw from Stonewall’s diversity plan
Stonewall said: “Since we set up the Diversity Champions programme in 2001, many large employers have developed major internal programmes to promote diversity and inclusion across their staff.”
The group added it is “confident in our advice on the Equality Act which is based on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Equality Act Code of Practice”.
Liz Truss, the equalities minister, is urging Government departments to withdraw from Stonewall’s diversity scheme, the Telegraph reported.