Mark Drakeford‘s plan to allow biological men to qualify for women only quotas to boost the number of female politicians has been met with outrage.
Welsh Labour wants to let those born male who identify as female to qualify for women only quotas, according to a leaked memo obtained by the Guido Fawkes website.
But the First Minister’s plan has been greeted with derision by political rivals, including Welsh Conservatives leader, Andrew RT Davies.
In response to the idea, he tweeted on Monday (October 30): “A total farce. Labour’s gender quotas are insulting to women, and to the public whose votes should be free from interference by politicians.
“But this is comical. If anyone can ‘identify’ as whichever gender they choose, the whole thing is unfit for purpose. Scrap it.”
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His comments come after a leaked memo revealed election officials would also be forbidden from challenging a candidate if they did not believe they were a woman.
The draft of a Bill contains a clause allowing biological men to stand on female only quotas in a bid to make sure half of the members of the Welsh Parliament are women.
Cathy Larkman of Women’s Rights Network Wales told Guido Fawkes: “It is astonishing the Government is spending public funds and using a Gender Quotas Bill to promote an agenda which undermines the rights of half the population of Wales.
“It is shameful that they are high-jacking legislation that should benefit women and increase female participation in political life, to embed a toxic and misogynistic ideology.”
She added it was “unforgivable” Mr Drakeford and his Government, “aided and abetted by Plaid Cymru”, intend to “betray” the women of Wales in such an “underhand” way.
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Heather Binning, founder of Women’s Rights Network, said: “Redefining the word ‘woman’ has implications for all women in the UK and is both extraordinary and deeply concerning.
“Despite seeing all that happened with gender reform in Scotland – particularly in the case of ‘Isla Bryson’ – the Welsh Government seems not to have learned any lessons.
“Attempting to bring gender self ID in on the back of another imminent piece of legislation that purports to benefit women is devious and disingenuous. It must be resisted.”
The Scottish Government’s move towards self-ID caused an uproar when a convicted rapist – who was born male but identified as female under the name Isla Bryson – was initially jailed in a female prison.
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A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are working to introduce a Bill to make our parliament more representative of the people it serves, which includes provisions to introduce candidate quotas for people seeking election to the Senedd.
“Our proposed model for quotas is designed to maximise the chances of achieving a Senedd comprised of at least 50 percent women.
“Work is ongoing on the Bill.”
Express.co.uk understands the leaked memo is not the most up to date version of the Bill.
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