The Trump administration is working to remove the word “gender” from United Nations documents, replacing it with “woman” in a continuation of its campaign to deny rights and protections to the transgender and non-binary community through mass erasure.
U.S. diplomats have been pushing for the changes at recent meetings of the UN’s Third Committee, which handles issues of humanitarian affairs and human rights issues, The Guardian reports.
The administration is objecting to use of the word “gender” as politically correct, vague language, which is pushing an “ideology” it sees as not scientifically-based. The publication points to a draft paper on the trafficking of women and girls introduced by Germany and Philippines earlier this month as an example.
The document includes the word “gender” over two dozen times, including in phrases such as “gender-based violence,” which they want to see replaced by “violence against women.”
“We are seeing this more and more coming up on the Third Committee, and this is going to be a battle in the coming weeks,” said a UN diplomat.
However, that same diplomat noted the United States’ position has been inconsistent, as at least once the word has been added into a text on U.S. insistence, which the European diplomat speculated could be the result of a struggle within the administration.
“If you only say violence against women, it doesn’t really tell the whole story,” said a senior diplomat at the UN. “We shouldn’t be going along with encouraging their society to be regressive. And if that means a blazing row in the Third Committee, I would have a blazing row in committee because I think some things are worth cherishing and worth hanging on to.”
This news follows a report of a leaked memo showing the administration planning to strip trans people of their rights by defining gender as immutable and defined by genitalia at birth, which Trump has claimed is an attempt to protect the country. The CDC Director, on the other hand, has warned of the damage that results from stigmatizing entire populations.
It also comes after the removal of the word “gender designation” to “sex marker” on a US State Department website outlining how to go about updating a passport.
“It’s clear the administration is engaged in a broad strategy of erasing transgender people’s existence across the federal government,” said Mara Keisling (above), the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“While it’s infuriating they would behave in such an extreme and volatile manner at the United Nations, we are confident their prejudice will lose out to science, reason, and the ongoing fight for human rights.”