Guidance published by Oxfam for volunteers on how to use inclusive language when communicating with different communities was “distorted”, the charity told PinkNews.

On Friday (March 17), The Daily Mail devoted its front page to the charity’s guiding principles, while Good Morning Britain invited Oxfam’s chief executive to speak out to defend the challenges of promoting inclusivity.

Oxfam’s Inclusive Language Guide was developed by the charity and draws on feedback from specialist organizations working with marginalized communities, as well as its own staff and networks.

The 92-page toolkit offers advice on how to engage with the various groups of people Oxfam staff and volunteers may come into contact with, including people with disabilities, sex workers and the LGBTQ+ community.

An updated version of the manualwhich aired live on Monday (March 13), immediately sparked controversy for allegedly “erasing mothers and fathers” by encouraging the use of gender-neutral terms in certain situations.

People on social media were quick to describe the guidance as “woke” and suggested the charity should expect to lose donations as a result.

“Some people decided to distort the advice”

An Oxfam spokesperson told PinkNews: “We pride ourselves on using inclusive language; we will not succeed in tackling poverty by excluding marginalized groups. This guide is not prescriptive, it is intended to help writers communicate with the diverse range of people we work with.

“We are disappointed that some people have chosen to misrepresent the advice offered in the guidance, which clearly states that authors should respect the wishes of those who wish to be described as a mother or father.”

In the ‘LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion’ section of this document, the charity says people use the phrases ‘father’ or ‘parenthood’ when they are unsure of the gender of the carer, but equally respect people who want to be called ‘ mother’ or ‘parenthood’. father’.

Guidelines listed in Oxfam’s Inclusive Language Guide (PinkNews)

The guide stated: “In a patriarchal culture, social norms related to gender lead to defined roles for parents that reflect the expectations of that gender.

“Some transgender and non-binary people can identify with these roles. However, some may prefer to use other names to denote paternity.

“The important principle here is to be inclusive in a broader sense, describing people as ‘parents’, but where individual parents prefer the role, to respect their choice.”

The advice goes on to add: “If trans parents have a preferred gender role, such as ‘mother’ or ‘father’, this should be respected. If you are not sure, it is better to use “father”.

As stated at the beginning of the document, Oxfam regards the Inclusive Language Guide as “recommendation only” and not “prescriptive”.

“We want to treat people with kindness and dignity”

Oxfam GB CEO Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah on Friday morning (March 17). appeared on Good Morning Britain protect the guiding principles.

Sriskandarajah said Oxfam has a legal responsibility to “create an inclusive environment in our workplaces” and so management is “not about telling staff what to do” but about how to “navigate an increasingly complex and divisive debate”. .

“We want to make sure we treat people, our employees, the communities we work with around the world, with kindness and dignity.

“One of the problems with this kind of debate, which takes place with megaphones and some flashy weapons, is that people’s dignity is lost,” he told GMB.

Oxfam also came under fire in 2021 removing the Wonder Women Bingo game.

It was suggested that the bingo game was stopped because it included Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, but the truth was that Oxfam’s non-binary staff had asked senior management to mark a game called Elliot Page.

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Oxfam hits back at critics of trans-inclusive guidance who claim its ‘erasing mums and dads’

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