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'Stop asking people their gender', Highgate politician urges North London councils

PUBLISHED: 09:43 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:43 11 August 2016

The Green Party's Sian Berry

The Green Party's Sian Berry

Archant

Councils should stop asking people their gender on official forms, and should remove people's names during the recruitment process.

That is the call put forward by a London Assembly member and Camden councillor, who says the move would promote better gender equality.

London Assembly member Sian Berry, who represents Highgate, has already got the agreement from the capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to introduce the measures at City Hall.

The Green Party politician said many, including non-binary, intersex and transgender people, may prefer not to select a gender on offical forms. She has now written to Camden, Haringey, Barnet, Enfield, Hackney and Islington councils calling for them to follow suit.

Cllr Berry said: “Disappointingly, I have found bad practice on many public sector websites, requiring gender details when asking people to fill in forms just to access services like parking or to leave comments on planning applications. People should not have to choose between male and female when giving their personal details to public bodies.

“And people should not be subject to discrimination when applying for a job because of their name.

“These tiny changes to the current processes would be a step in the right direction to be more inclusive to all of the residents councils represent.”

A spokesman from Camden Council said gender neutral titles on forms are being reviewed.

He said: “The council doesn’t currently propose to redact names on applications as part of our recruitment process, but we are looking at further options for gender neutral titles on our application forms.”

Last year it became the first UK organisation to publish a pay analysis of its workforce by gender, disability and ethnicity.

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