Co-operative Bank banned a women’s rights organization from using its banking services, because the feminist group maintains a dictionary-definition of “woman” that results in a membership policy Co-operative Bank deems incongruous with its own vision of “diversity and inclusion.”
The feminist organization is only open to female members, as a space for women to gather and discuss issues particular to female biology and the oppressions women experience as a result of this biology, and strategize for the liberation of women.
Transgender rights activists believe that the exclusion from female-specific spaces of individuals who are born male but declare themselves women invalidates such individuals’ perception of their own gender, and therefore violates their rights.
In its Co-op’s Values and Ethics Report 2017, Co-operative sided with the transgender activist position, condemning the women’s rights activists’ policy as active denial of the rights of members of the transgender community. The bank placed the feminist organization on a list of banned customers.
Other banking relationships declined by the Co-op include an individual with “links to the government of an oppressive regime.”
In a statement to the Daily Mail, women’s rights activist Venice Allan said:
Feminist groups are constantly being told that they need to admit men who define themselves as a woman. But I think we are entitled to stick to the dictionary definition of what a man is and what a woman is. It is highly inappropriate for the Co-op Bank to treat a group in this way for sticking to the correct definition of a woman.
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Co-operative Bank bans feminist group from using its services after they barred transgender people from becoming members
The Co-operative Bank has banned a feminist group from using its services because of its stance on transgender issues. The bank claims the unnamed group has ‘actively declined the rights of members of the transgender community’. But the ban has sparked outrage from feminist campaigners.