A project intended to provide an entire apartment building for “women-only” won’t be as free from Y-chromosomes as initially thought, with organisers admitting that biologically male transgender and non-binary individuals will be allowed to rent flats in the building.
A feminist scheme to build a 15-storey apartment block for single women, particularly “vulnerable” women from ethnic minority backgrounds or those facing domestic abuse, has been given the go-ahead by the Ealing Council in west London this week, the BBC reported.
Under the plans, men would be prohibited from renting apartments in the building, and would only be allowed into the building if they are a child of or are in a relationship with one of the tenants.
While the scheme seems discriminatory against men on its face, there is of course a transgender loophole against the segregation policy: it is 2023, after all. The Women’s Pioneer Housing Association (WPA), which is spearheading the project, has said that the building will be open to anyone who has a “gender recognition certificate legally declaring them female”.
The not-so-female-only building will also be open to transgender people who “intend to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment” as well as ” non-binary people” who meet one of those criteria.
The WPA, which owns over 1,000 properties in London, claimed in its annual report that women earn on average 30.4 per cent less per year than men, and therefore it is “vital” to provide women with high-quality housing that is affordable.
“There is no region in England where a single woman on an average woman’s salary can afford to rent a private-sector home of her own,” the association said, adding: “London house prices and private rents are outside the reach of most women, especially single women.
Their report, which did not account for commonly overlooked gender pay gap factors, such as profession held or hours worked, did not include statistics on whether transgender individuals who identify as women earn more or less than biological women.