A Call for Comprehensive Trans Women and Trans Feminine Inclusion in International Women’s Day Campaigns
March 8, 2022
International Women’s Day is a day we come together globally to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness against the many biases and forms of discrimination they face. As part of the Canadian feminist and gender justice movement, CCGSD recognizes that celebrating International Women’s day is not only about celebrating the achievements of cisgender, heterosexual women. Our advocacy needs to be consciously mindful of having inclusive language and challenges predisposed ideas on what it means to be a woman.
This advocacy brief is a call for the active inclusion of trans women and transfeminine people within the scope of national and global campaigns that highlight women and their intersectional lived experiences. The global solidarity moment has for far too long thrived on trans-exclusionary feminism that reifies the colonial gender binary and exempts trans women access to global solidarity movements. We believe that trans movements, theories, and organizing are integral to an emancipatory feminist agenda. The trope adopted by trans exclusionary radical ‘feminists’ (TERFS) is that trans movements are outside the scope of women’s movement and, therefore, feminism. We reject this bigoted rhetoric and ideology espoused by TERFs and advocate for ALL women’s equity, rights, health, and safety which means ensuring that needs, experiences, ideas, rights, and recommendations of trans women and transfeminine people are reflected in our policies, programs, and advocacy efforts.
This year, the theme for the 2022 International Women’s Day is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”. Gender equality is not only about equality between heterosexual cisgender men and women. When we define gender as based solely on sex, we oust trans people from women’s spaces and movements failing to advocate for solidarity. It is crucial for us to conscientiously include conversations around homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny under the umbrella of women’s solidarity movements. Violence ensues when people do not fit into society’s predetermined norms around gender expression. There is systemic, structural, and interpersonal violence that needs to be accounted for that transcends the idea that “men are perpetrators and women are victims”. We need to make active efforts to not assume that cis-gendered people are the default.
For this and every International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate and commemorate ALL women. As part of our commitment to trans-inclusive feminism, we are actively trying to ensure that the needs, experiences, ideas, rights, and recommendations of trans women and transfeminine people, are reflected in our policies, programs, and advocacy efforts.
Trans folks have defined, re-defined, and led feminist movements all across the world. We think it’s high time civil society actors, governments, and resistance movements look inwards and ask ourselves how we continue to reproduce harmful exclusionary rhetoric in the name of women’s solidarity. Until then, let’s stop standing in their way.
Check out our previous statements on trans-inclusive feminism, why a trans-inclusive movement in Canada matters to CCGSD, and our Queer Vocabulary to aid mindful and inclusive language.