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A university in England is facing backlash after it removed the word “woman” in menopause and maternity policies for staff members, with politicians slamming the university for not knowing “basic biology” and for going “woke.”
Although the policies at the University of the Arts London (UAL) have been implemented for the past year, the school has recently taken to social media to celebrate as the organization continued to tackle “gendered issues.”
UAL guidance from October 2022 told staff members that maternity leave applies to all genders. The issue gained wider awareness after the British think tank Policy Exchange weighed in on the matter in an April 2023 newsletter.
“At UAL, we are introducing equal parental leave. Every new parent will be entitled to six months at full pay,” University of the Arts London Vice Chancellor James Purnell wrote in a LinkedIn post in October 2022. “It is fair to every kind of parent, of whatever gender or sex, or sexual orientation, whether adopting or not.”
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In subsequent releases, UAL announced maternity leave packages “irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or how people become parents.”
“We have officially launched a new parental pay and leave provision – which offers an equal package to staff irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or how people become parents.” UAL announced in a press release.
University of the Arts London’s updated menopause and maternity policies have sparked pushback. (University of the Arts London)
Throughout their messaging, the university defined “women,” “mothers” and “Maternity Leave/Pay policy” to inclusive language, stating that “not all pregnant people are women.”
“UAL policy reforms to ‘women’, ‘mothers’ and ‘Maternity Leave/Pay policy’ so we refer to their policies by names,” the press release states. “However, we wish to affirm in our use of language in this letter that not all pregnant people are women and thereby acknowledge trans, non-binary, gender-queer and gender fluid pregnant people and parents.”
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In its updated menopause policies, the university said that menopause “may also be experienced by colleagues who do not identify as female.”
“UAL recognizes that menopause may also be experienced by colleagues who do not identify as female, so this guidance and support content is intended to support anyone experiencing menopause, regardless of their gender identity.” the university said.
University of the Arts London stood by its menopause and maternity policies. (University of the Arts London)
Member of Parliament Jonathan Gullis blasted the university, saying that UAL did not know “basic biology.”
“It is disturbing that a university does not understand the basics of biology… I hope [it] will stop this pathetic woke nonsense.” Gullis said in a recent campaign stop, according to a report from The Sun.
“It is disturbing that a university does not understand the basics of biology.”
Toby Young, the director of the think tank Free Speech Union, told the Daily Mail that the university “has become so pickled in woke gobbledegook it’s becoming a bit of a joke.”
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According to TopUniversities.com, UAL is ranked 2nd in the world for Art and Design according to the 2022 QS World University Rankings, for the fourth year in a row. UAL has approximately 18,000 students that study is six different colleges at the esteemed school.
The University of the Arts London did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a writer on the breaking news team for Fox News Digital. You can reach her on Twitter at @s_rumpfwhitten.