Wales politics

Minister for transgender issues is needed, says Kirsty Williams

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams Image copyright PA
Image caption Kirsty Williams said this was 'another issue' where Wales was falling behind the rest of the UK

A minister should be given specific responsibility for transgender issues in Wales, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has said.

Ms Williams said "trans people are subject to so much prejudice" and "much more" could be done to help them get better access to public services.

She said it was "astonishing" that there was no gender clinic in Wales.

The Welsh government said Communities Minister Lesley Griffiths had overall responsibility for transgender issues.

The Liberal Democrats will lead an assembly debate on the subject on Wednesday.

"This is a long overdue debate, and I'm pleased that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are giving these issues the attention they deserve," Ms Williams said.

"Trans people are subject to so much prejudice throughout their lives, and there's so much more we can do to support them access public services.

"Given that estimates put the number of trans people in Wales in the thousands, it's astonishing to think that there still isn't a single gender clinic in Wales."

'Highly specialised'

In a statement, the Welsh government said "ministers across the government work closely together to tackle prejudice".

"We fund the National Hate Crime Reporting Centre, which provides support for victims of hate crime across Wales, while we are also continuing to work with transgender organisations to increase greater awareness of the issue and encourage victims to report crimes," it said.

"Our Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill, currently being considered by the assembly, will have a positive impact on all victims of gender-based violence, including the transgender community."

The statement added that there was insufficient "critical mass" to support the "safe and sustainable provision" of "highly specialised gender confirmation surgeries" in Wales.

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