5 ways to help this week (27/09/20)
Each week the WCWD team adds new content to the site – we keep it relevant to make sure you’re informed on the latest!
But because we also know it can be overwhelming with so much information flying around, we’ve collated 5 new things for you to get involved in this week – whether you do one or all five, you can make a difference.
1. Stand #TogetherWithTrans to show your support after the UK Government failed to fulfill its promise to reform the Gender Recognition Act
What is the Gender Recognition Act?
In 2004, the UK Government announced the 2004 Act which gave trans people the right to seek legal recognition of their gender for the first time, and have their birth certificates updated without having to go through medical treatment or surgery.
However, this process involves a high cost, a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, proof that a person has lived as their preferred gender for at least two years, and approval by a Gender Recognition Panel.
It has been described as overly complex, traumatic, stressful and invasive.
In 2018, the UK Government committed to undertaking a public consultation on reforming the law in England and Wales.
The Gender Recognition Act sought to allow people to legally change their gender in England and Wales by a process called self-identification.
Scotland’s devolved government proposed its own progressive reforms earlier this year.
Image credit: Nadia Snopek and Cosmopolitan
So what happened this week?
After two years, the government released its response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation.
It dropped plans to allow self-identification and committed to making small administrative changes to make the process less bureaucratic, easier and cheaper in England and Wales. Scotland is still discussing its reforms.
This response from Equalities Minister Liz Truss can be read in full here.
This response has caused controversy as it has failed to meet the requests of trans and non-binary people in the UK.
Whilst LGBTQIA+ campaigners and groups such as Stonewall and Mermaids have acknowledged the small steps taken to make the process less arduous, they have also acknowledged that it is a major blow to LGBTQ+ rights and has failed to listen to the requests of trans people.
‘Today, the UK Government has fallen far short on its promise to reform the Gender Recognition Act, and has missed a key opportunity to progress LGBTQI equality.’ - Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive, Stonewall
What can we do?
Join more than 50 trans, LGBTQ+ and ally organisations in their #TogetherWithTrans campaign, highlighting the inequalities trans people face.
You can support the campaign online by sharing these images on social media.
Sign the Reform the Gender Recognition Act petition to support the people ignored by the policy makers.
Share and send Stonewall’s statement in response to the GRA and how it is insufficient to raise awareness.
You might also like to read: Voices of Change | Switchboard LGBT+ helpline
2. Help the struggling hospitality industry
This week, the PM has announced a 10pm curfew for restaurants, bars, and pubs.
The UK is going through its worst recession on record and with the rising cases of coronavirus throughout the UK, and the restrictions getting much stricter, many businesses are unable to survive these unprecedented times.
Employees of the hospitality industry are experiencing financial, emotional, and mental health challenges due to the ongoing pandemic.
Out for dinner? Why not buy some of Hospitality Action’s #InvisibleChips from bars and restaurants, to support the 3 million people working in the hospitality industry.
Whether you like skin on fries, dirty fries or a sharing portion, there are some 0% fat, 100% charity #InvisibleChips for you!
Image credits: Heston Blumenthal and invisiblechips.org.uk
You might also like to read: Voices of Change | Hospitality Action
3. Black Lives Matter: keep fighting for justice for Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor is a name you have probably seen on social media with #SayHerName.
She was a 26 year old, award-winning EMT in the US who was shot 6 times and killed by police officers in her own home during a botched no-knock warrant.
Campaigners have been calling for justice since her death. But this week at the court case, Breonna was failed.
One officer was charged for “wanton endangerment”, endangering the lives of Breonna’s neighbours with gunfire. This is the one and only charge that was filed by the grand jury this week.
No charges were filed for the other two officers and no one has been charged for Breonna’s killing.
Join the campaign and sign the petition
for the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, and donate to the crowdfunding campaign which will blanket the state of Kentucky in over 100 billboards to show that the American people stand with Breonna Taylor’s family.
We must continue to support Black communities and put in the work to create an anti-racist society.
Donate to support Manchester chef David Kamson to get a new food truck after his was burned down in a racially motivated attack.
Image credits: kpfa.org and @theblackgirltribe
Check out our Black Lives Matter article for an extensive list of resources, petitions and actions you can take to support Black communities, especially through COVID-19.
4. Meet the charity: Refugees at Home
This week's Voices of Change guest was UK charity Refugees at Home, which matches refugees and asylum seekers in need of accommodation with hosts who are able and happy to offer a spare room.
They have exceeded 148,000 nights hosted since they began, and have hosted guests from 75 different countries.
Support Refugees at Home by signing up to be hosts, or donating to help provide basic provisions for a destitute refugee moving in with a host.
Image credits: Refugees At Home
Find out how to support refugees and asylum seekers in the UK in our Spotlight on Refugees.
It contains everything from information, education, petitions to sign and actions to take to make a difference.
5. Simple Sustainable Swap: Shop palm oil-free when you can!
Palm oil is a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most valuable forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species.
We can help by avoiding products which contain palm oil.
How can I know what products to choose and which ones to avoid ?
Check out the WWF Palm oil Scorecard . With the Scorecard, you can see which of your favourite brands and retailers are committed to sustainable palm oil future, free from deforestation and destruction of nature.
You can also read this list of palm oil-free products from Ethical Consumer.
To avoid palm oil, select products that contain clearly labeled oils if you can, like 100% sunflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or canola oil.
You can also buy products that use sustainable palm oil, and which have the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSP) label.
Our weekly 5 ways to help this week series always contains a simple sustainable swap! Check them out!
Come back again next week for more ideas about how you can get involved and make a difference. In the meantime, if you know of any initiatives in your community that you think we should promote get in touch.
More things you might like:
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