TGEU speaks on first session on “GENDER IDENTITY and TRANSGENDER ISSUES” ever in the EU Commission
Brussels, 23 Sept 2010
TGEU Vice-Chair Julia Ehrt was positively impressed by the high turn-out to the in house-session: “About 35 Commission employees from various of the Commission’s DGs attended the first info session on gender identity and transgender issues ever in the EU Commission showing great interest in the topic. We had a very lively discussion afterwards.” TGEU was invited to give expertise on the discrimination trans people face in the European Union. Besides explaining transgender terminology, Julia spoke about the fact that the vast majority of trans people (79%) reported negative comments, verbal, physical or sexual abuse or threatening behavior in public. This direct discrimination is further supported by structural discrimination. She highlighted that many EU member states have not properly implemented Anti-Discrimination Legislation as of yet. According to her trans people are left in a legal limbo as many national laws do not include trans under ‘gender identity’.
“In February 2011 member states will have to show how they have implemented the present gender directive ‘recast’. We are very glad that the legal experts of the Directorate General Employment at the Commission are now sensitized for trans issues.” adds Richard Köhler, member of the TGEU steering committee.
The Info session was held only three days after the Commission had released the new “Roadmap for gender equality” (2010-2015). The document is a huge step forward. Gender identity is explicitly mentioned in the roadmap itself and the action plan and hence will have to be covered by the Commissions work in the future. The glossary refers to ‘gender identity’ is understood as the feeling of “being male and masculine or female and feminine, or ambivalent”.