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Transgender women should have equal rights, say 80% of women across the globe

Transgender women should have equal rights, say 80% of women across the globe

Transgender women marching at San Francisco Pride

Nearly 80% of women in five different cities across the world believe transgender women should have equal rights.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation published their poll on Friday (28 September), asking the very simple question: ‘Should transgender women have the same rights as other women?’

They polled 1,000 women in total from Cairo, London, Mexico City, New York, and Tokyo.

Overall, 798 women (79.8%) responded ‘yes’ to the question, 37 (3.7%) said no, and 165 (16.5%) declined to answer.

Many people responded to the results with surprise and encouragement.

Mexico City had the highest amount of support (89%), followed by London and New York (87%). Tokyo and Cairo rounded out the bottom two, with 75% and 62% support, respectively.

Lina Perez Cerqueda, president of Cuenta Conmigo, a group helping trans women, described Mexico City as ‘an oasis’ for trans women. Outside of the city, where there is ‘more machismo’, it’s more difficult.

‘I’m very surprised by the poll, happily surprised, as there is a lot of ignorance around transgender issues,’ said Lobna Darwish of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

Some women in Cairo responded to the poll, saying they didn’t know what a trans woman was.

Striving to make change

Some said the poll indicated the need to keep fighting for change.

In Japan, a law requires trans women to be sterilized and receive a diagnosis of ‘gender identity disorder’ before beginning the process of affirming their gender.

If women are married or have children who are minors, they also cannot legally change their gender.

Of the poll, Kyle Knight at Human Rights Watch said: ‘It’s yet another signal to the government that it’s time to change this absurd law.’

In Britain, there are laws already for trans women. The 2010 Equality Act already allows trans women the right to access female-only spaces.

Further, proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, could also benefit trans women more.

Critics, however, are damaging some of these efforts.

Samantha Nelson, a diversity campaigner, said: ‘Some of the scare tactics that have been employed are setting us back considerably.’

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