Women being attacked and intimidated on trans issues says UN Lead on violence against women

A UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls has warned that woman who wish to speak out on transgender issues face smear campaigns, physical abuse and legal harassment.

Reem Alsalem, in a strongly-worded May 22nd press release from the UN Human Rights office, said that women faced a “shrinking space” in Western countries “to gather and/or express themselves peacefully in demanding respect for their needs based on their sex and/or sexual orientation.

“I am disturbed by the frequent tactic of smear campaigns against women, girls and their allies on the basis of their beliefs on non-discrimination based on sex and same-sex relations,” said Alsalem.

“Branding them as ‘Nazis’, ‘genocidaires’ or ‘extremists’ is a means of attack and intimidation with the purpose of deterring women from speaking and expressing their views,” she added.

“We have witnessed incidents of verbal and physical abuse, harassment, and intimidation, with the purpose of sabotaging and derailing such events as well as silencing the women who wish to speak at them,” Alsalem said.

She also said she was “concerned by the way in which provisions that criminalise hate speech based on a number of grounds, including gender expression or gender identity, have been interpreted in some countries.”

“Women and girls have a right to discuss any subject free of intimidation and threats of violence. This includes issues that are important to them, particularly if they relate to parts of their innate identity, and on which discrimination is prohibited.”

“Holding and expressing views about the scope of rights in society based on sex and gender identity should not be delegitimised, trivialised, or dismissed,” she said.

Women’s groups have been at loggerheads with transgender activists, who insist that biological males can participate in women’s sports and be placed in women’s prisons.

Women have also raised concerns that a biological male who claims to be female will have access to domestic violence shelters, and women’s bathrooms and dressing rooms.

Transgender activists have hit back with accusations of ‘transphobia’ and by describing women as Terfs. They have also repeatedly attempted to shut down women’s events on that basis.

At a recent event in Auckland, women’s rights activist Posie Parker said she was in fear of her life after a mob of transgender activists surrounded and attacked the event.

The UN spokeswoman Special Rapporteur said attempts to silence concerns about the dispute around women’s rights and gender identity are “deeply troubling, as they are intended to instil fear in [women and girls], shame them into silence, and incite violence and hatred against them.”

She insisted that the social, legal, and violent censorship of sex-based women’s rights “severely affect[s] the dignified participation of women and girls in society.

The UN expert said that transgender activists “also have a right to express their opinion,” but must not “threaten the safety and integrity of those they are protesting against and disagreeing with.”

“Sweeping restrictions on the ability of women and men to raise concerns regarding the scope of rights based on gender identity and sex are in violation of the fundamentals of freedom of thought and freedom of belief and expression and amounts to unjustified or blanket censorship,” she said.

She was critical of the fact that “women politicians are sanctioned by their political parties” – seen as a reference to the sacking of Victorian MP Moira Deeming in Australia from the Liberal Party after a controversy around her support for a Let Women Speak rally.

In Scotland, “Kate Forbes, the SNP leadership candidate who was widely attacked for her gender-critical views, claimed that cancellation attempts like those levied against her and fellow SNP politician Joanna Cherry earlier this month have been “not about disputing someone’s views: it’s about […] sacking people from jobs,” online media platform Unherd commented.

Threats of violence and physical attacks are now increasingly being reported by women who are speaking out on transgender demands.

On Sky News, commentator Rachel Wong, welcomed Alsalem’s comments and said that her statement was “very pointed” and speaking to women who are being silenced.

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