Norwich event organisers deny allegations they are ‘trans critical’
Organisers behind a women’s rights event in Norwich have denied claims they are critical of transgender people.
City councillors and members of Norwich’s LGBT+ community protested outside the Friends Meeting House on Monday to oppose the event organised by A Woman’s Place UK.
In a statement, protesters claimed the group was set up by “trans critical” feminists who campaign against transgender self-identification.
But Kiri Tunks, co-founder of A Woman’s Place UK, denied the allegations.
She said: “We are a group set up to campaign for women’s rights,” she said. “We want to make sure women’s voices are heard.
“We don’t take a position on trans rights. We are not critical of trans people and we have trans supporters.”
She said the group’s talks have attracted protesters in the past.
Monday evening’s event in Norwich, entitled ‘A Woman’s Place Is Breaking Ground’ featured talks from prominent feminists and campaigners about issues affecting women.
A handful of people protested outside the event holding a banner that read “Quakers for equality”.
The group spoke out against the Norwich Quakers for allowing the meeting to be held at its venue.
Jo Smith, a Quaker and Labour city councillor for the Mancroft Ward, said: “As a Quaker I am shocked and upset that the Quaker community is facilitating this transphobic campaigning group.
“Quakers have a testimony to equality and therefore holding this meeting is at odds with everything we should believe in.”
A spokesman for the Norwich Quakers said checks were carried out on the organisers before the event, but there was no evidence of transphobia.
The spokesman said the Quaker values of equality were also highlighted at the start of the meeting.
In regard to the organisers, a statement from the protest group said: “A Woman’s Place UK has been set up by ‘trans critical’ feminists who campaign against trans self-identification and non-binary recognition, claiming they would undermine women’s rights and place non-trans women at greater risk of male violence and harassment.”
Michelle Savage, chair of Norwich Pride 2019, said: “We want to live in a city where everyone can feel safe and proud to be themselves.”