The Rights of Women

The Rights of Women

The ALBA Party has always stood up for women and girls across Scotland. We understand that tens of thousands of women have felt unable to voice their concerns without fear of being abused and silenced, we hope to provide them with a voice.

In our short existence, we have already held numerous Women’s Only Conferences that provide a safe space for our female members to discuss issues that are pertinent to them.

We will remain steadfast in our belief that women have the right to organise themselves according to their sex class, and that these protections would be enshrined in an Independent Scotland’s Constitution.

We strive to create a level playing field where we can become truly equal and where everyone’s rights are respected and protected, but, vitally, not at the cost of others. Therefore, we undertake to protect and preserve women’s rights, not at any expense to others, but as a safeguard for women and girls.

We believe women have the right to discuss all policies which affect them, without being abused and silenced.

Furthermore, we believe women have the right to maintain their sex-based protections as set out in the Equality Act 2010. These include female-only spaces such as changing rooms, hospital wards, sanitary and sleeping accommodations, refuges, hostels, and prisons. Therefore, we believe women have the right to refuse consent to males in single-sex spaces or males delivering intimate services to females such as washing, dressing, and counselling.

It is our belief that women have the right to single-sex sports to ensure fairness and safety at all levels of competition. Women have the right to organise themselves according to their sex class across a range of cultural, leisure, educational and political activities.

The ALBA Party acknowledges and promotes all protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 which are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, and sex.

The above is a summary. You can read the full statement adopted by the ALBA Women's Conference in 2021 here.

Since our inception in 2021, we have attempted to amplify the voices and concerns of women who feel they have been shut out of the discussion in relation to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill (GRR).

We understand the controversy and pain which have characterised Scotland’s recent attempts at reform; there has been much heat and at times little light.

The ALBA Party endorses a Citizens’ Assembly on how best to reform the Gender Recognition process in a respectful, sensitive and positive fashion. This move will take much of the heat out of the debate that has often left so many in society feeling as though their voices have not been heard.

We acknowledge that no single protected characteristic is more virtuous or worthy of recognition and safeguarding than another. They are all fundamentally important, each on their own, and as a collective.

As a party that wholeheartedly believes in Scottish Independence, we could never celebrate the UK Government intervening in areas of devolution. The Scottish Secretary should not have invoked section 35. He has turned what should be a constructive discussion on equality and protections for all, into a constitutional fistfight.

Holyrood has created this sorry mess and they should sort it out for themselves without Westminster interference in terms of voting on the Statutory Instruments which will come before Parliament on the legislation.

The ALBA Party condemns recent cases which have highlighted the housing of violent and dangerous males within the women’s prison estate in Scotland. It is our firm belief that there should be no exceptions to the principle that no male bodied prisoner should ever be housed in a women’s prison.

The housing of violent and dangerous males in the Scottish Women’s prison estate underscores the urgent need to strengthen safeguarding across all public bodies and that and independent regulator must be established to ensure that no government or minister can play fast and loose with the rights and protections of anyone as have regrettably been done in recent cases.

The ALBA Party calls on the Scottish Government to carry out the following actions:

Make clear in a policy statement that no male bodied prisoners will be housed in the Scottish Women’s Prison Estate.

The establishment of an independent expert multi-disciplinary regulator to ensure to safeguard the rights of women in the Scottish Prison system.

In closing Cornton Vale Women’s Prison and replacing with smaller units, the scoping of a more progressive community model to include local hubs; improved resourcing in mental health services; residential substance misuse facilities and women-only secure hospital facilities.