Nicola Sturgeon’s Government is making tampons and sanitary towels available in its male lavatories in case they are needed by transgender civil servants, The Telegraph can reveal.
The Scottish government said it was "providing sanitary bins and a varied selection of sanitary products" in men’s lavatories "in those premises where gender neutral facilities do not exist".
In a submission to the LGBT rights group Stonewall, officials said female hygiene products would be placed in men’s lavatories "close to meeting/conference rooms and/or main entrances to premises".
The document also described how the Scottish government introduced a new policy in July this year that made clear that "some transgender men" and non-binary people, who do not identify as male or female, "may also experience menopause".
In another move aimed at helping this group of civil servants, the 209-page submission said they were permitted to use the title "Mx" on the government’s computer systems and staff directory, rather than Mr, Mrs or Ms.
Controversy over Stonewall
The submission, obtained by this newspaper for the Freedom of Information Act, was made for the 2022 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which rates the top 500 employers on their progress towards LGBT "equality".
The Scottish government’s ranking fell to 127 in 2020, from 72 in 2019. An updated league table will be published next year.
However, a number of high-profile organisations and UK government departments have withdrawn from the group’s diversity scheme in recent months, which offers guidance on pronouns and gender-neutral facilities.
The BBC this week joined Ofcom, the Cabinet Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in quitting the scheme and the equality index, saying its participation raised questions over impartiality on issues such as trans rights.
Critics claim the influence of the charity is inappropriate, due to its role as a lobbying group, recipient of public funds to run equality projects and a body which sells advice and services.
The Scottish Government paid Stonewall £415,000 in grants between April 2017 and September this year in “equality funding”. It also paid the organisation thousands of pounds in membership fees.
The Telegraph revealed last month that the Scottish Government had agreed to delete the word “mother” from its maternity leave policy in response to pressure from the group.
The disclosure comes amid an SNP civil war over Ms Sturgeon’s plans to allow people to legally change gender by self-declaration, without a medical diagnosis.
Criticism from women’s groups
Women’s groups have previously warned predatory men could exploit the change to access safe spaces, such as lavatories and changing rooms. They criticised the move to make sanitary products available in men’s loos.
Trina Budge, director of campaign group For Women Scotland, said: "Once again we note the Scottish Government is riding roughshod over existing legislation, this time the health and safety regulations that have existed since 1992 and state that separate rooms must be provided for men and women.
"That our government is so determined to impose their undocumented and unscientific policy of self-identification of sex on its own staff, rather than just designate some provision ‘gender neutral’, is deeply troubling."
The submission included dozens of pages of detailed responses setting out the Scottish Government’s LGBT policies, with examples of how trans civil servants were being assisted.
The document said the new menopause policy states: "Some transgender men, non-binary people, and intersex people or people with variations in sex characteristics may also experience the menopause.”
It also said the Scottish Government had ensured that its policies for leave, adoption and shared parental leave avoided using "gendered language".
The Scottish Government was approached for comment.