Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004: evaluation and policy options

Ioana Latu*, Danielle Blaylock, Stephanie Burns, Elida Cena, Jenny Groarke, Phoebe McKenna-Plumley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The current research project was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of Finance in May 2021. Three general goals were agreed:
1) To carry out research on the performance of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 in this jurisdiction
2) To assess the available policy options: 1. No change – retaining the Gender Recognition Act 2004, 2. Self-declaratory system 3. Mixed system 4. Retaining the current age limit of 18 or lowering it. We additionally assess the potential impact of those options on the wider community relevant stakeholders
3) To make evidence-based recommendations for future policy in this area.

To address these goals, we proposed and agreed on a mixed-method approach, using multiple levels of analysis. Data was synthesised from different, but complementary sources, in order to gain a multifaceted perspective on the current topic, including reviews and analyses of policy and scientific literature, as well as primary quantitative and qualitative sources. This mixed-methods approach combines key stakeholder views, interpretations and responses, and synthesises other recent research literature and findings. As such, this approach provides:
• Insights to understand attitudes towards potential reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. These insights may inform future consultations and government decisions on policy options regarding gender recognition
• An in-depth, comparative interpretation of experiences in relation to gender recognition and official gender recognition processes in Northern Ireland
• Identification of current controversies in the area of gender recognition, as well as an understanding of the benefits and possible sources of resistance to policies, to reflect people’s reactions to particular proposal for policy change.

Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyNI Department of Finance
Number of pages106
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022


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