In what some see as a blatant attack on transgender individuals, the American delegation to the United Nations is trying to remove “gender” from UN human rights documents, according to The Independent.
US diplomats are said to be lobbying to replace the word “gender” with “woman” – thus discounting the experiences of transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
They are understood to have used recent meetings of the UN’s Third Committee – which deals with social and humanitarian affairs and human rights – to call for general assembly policy statements to remove what the Trump administration consider politically correct and vague language.
The US is keen to eradicate phrases like “gender-based violence” and replace such expressions with references to “violence against women” in a draft paper on trafficking introduced by Germany and Philippines earlier this month, according to The Guardian.
One senior diplomat told The Guardian that only saying “violence against women, it doesn’t really tell the whole story.”
“We shouldn’t be going along with encouraging their society to be regressive. And if that means a blazing row in the Third Committee, I would have a blazing row in committee because I think some things are worth cherishing and worth hanging on to.”
This would not be the Trump administration’s first attack on transgender rights: last year, President Trump unsuccessfully attempted to ban transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military, and more recently, administration plans to define gender on a “biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective, and administrable” were leaked to The New York Times.
Under Trump, the federal government also abandoned Obama-era guidance surrounding the issue of bathroom use:
Days after being sworn in, Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew his predecessor’s guidance on protections for transgender students in public schools that allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.