WDI claims to have collected just over 35,500 signatures and garnered the support of 505 organizations worldwide by May 1 2023.i Yet clear patterns emerge when the data are analyzed more closely. Analysis of public signature records from March 2019 to the end of 2022, available on WDI’s website womensdeclaration.com, reveals heavy signature concentrations in four countries in the Global North: the United Kingdom, United States, Spain, and Russia. Collectively, these four countries make up nearly 60% of the total number of signatures and 39.7% of supporting organizations, contradicting WDI’s claim of being supported by 160 countries. Meanwhile, very little organic support is found in Africa, Asia, and much of eastern Europe.
Signature collection appears to be heavily connected to the presence of a WDI chapter in a given region as well, with the exception of Russia. Despite not having a regional chapter, WDI was able to gain over 2,000 Russian signatures by the end of 2022. Spain’s networks in turn carry over into Mexico: together, the two countries have the highest number of supporting organizations to the Declaration, with many regularly collaborating together on events.
Notable Individual Signatories
Some incoming signatures would stick out above others. In some instances, spiritual leaders from trans-exclusionary sects of paganism such as Vajra Ma and Wolfgang Nebmaier of Shakti Moon Foundation and Ruth Barrett of the Temple of Diana. In other instances, high ranking figures from the international NGO Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW): Kathleen Barry, a founder of CATW in 1988 alongside Dorchen Leidholdt;ii Twiss Butler, a former CATW board member in 2010 along with Janice Raymond and Leidholdt;iii and Teresa Ulloa Ziáurriz, the Regional Director of CATW in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC). Other leaders of feminist movements joined the ranks, particularly in Spanish speaking countries. Lidia Falcón O’Neill, of Feminist Party of Spain (Partido Feminista de España), signaled her approval come December 2019. By 2020 Falcón was joined by TIME 100 Mexican star Arussi Unda of the Witches of the Sea (Las Brujas del Mar) in July. Similarly, the radical lesbian feminist Hyejung Park from South Korea–credited with privately circulating translated copies of Gender Hurts after returning to Seol from Denmark in 2015–signed in its early stages. As did Helena Kerschner, one of the detransitioned panelists from WDI’s 2019 launch events, signing in the name of Pique Resilience Project just two days after their appearance together in Manhattan.
Notable Organization Signatories
Among supporting U.S. organizations are the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and Deep Green Resistance (DGR), the two networks that have been some of the main drivers of collusion between TERF and far-right organizing; the Georgia Green Party, which was dis-accredited in 2021 by the national Green Party for its endorsement of the Declaration; and Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights, an organized attempt to infiltrate the Green Party with “gender critical” rhetoric following the Georgia Green Party’s dis-accredidation.
The UK groups are diverse, ranging from radical feminist media projects and political groups to “gender critical” projects targeting schools. The most significant is LGB Alliance, an international group based in the UK whose Irish branch is part of a list of 12 “far-right hate and extremist groups” by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. There’s also Standing For Women, a project operated by the anti-trans “women’s rights” activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull1 whose events have attracted members of white supremacist groups (much to the frustration of her anti-trans feminist peers) in an escalating merger between “gender critical” and far right groups; Keen-Minshull has called for American “’men who carry [guns]’ to enter women’s toilets and target women they think are transgender in them[,]”iv according to researchers with the British trans-led project Trans Safety Network. On the school side, the UK’s supporting organizations include the likes of TransgenderTrend and Safe Schools Alliance UK. TransgenderTrend is reputed for their aggressive pushes to replace trans-positive school materials with their own anti-trans books, and Safe Schools Alliance UK partakes in an ongoing far-right campaign targeting Drag Queen Story Hour that has resulted in events being shut down after death and kidnapping threats.
Canada has fewer supporting organizations, but they include Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF Québec), which participated in the campaign against the proposed conversion therapy ban Bill-6, and Canadian Women’s Sex-Based Rights (caWsbar), which co-sponsored a series of six prison protests throughout Canada and the US. The prison protests are part of an ongoing pattern throughout Canada, the US, and the UK, with each protest targeting a specific women’s prison that houses trans women regardless of the prisons’ safeguarding policies.
Mexico and Spain are home to some of the most influential organizational supporters because of their close affiliation to political parties and international NGOs. In Mexico, the Declaration is endorsed by CATW’s chapter for Latin America and the Caribbean in a more brazen admission of adherence to CATW International’s roots in anti-trans feminism2 and Witches of the Sea (Las Brujas del Mar), an anti-trans feminist group whose founder built alliances with politicians from the post-dictatorial Institutional Revolutionary Party while co-directing anti-abortion organizations.v
In Spain, WDI were joined by Alliance Against the Erasure of Women (La Alianza contra el Borrado de las Mujeres), an organization partially led by former Members of Spanish Parliament and which also makes the antisemitic arguments that George Soros and Jennifer Pritzker are funding the “queer lobby” to destroy biological sex, and the Feminist Party of Spain (Partido Feminista de España), led by anti-trans feminist Lidia Falcón O’Neill, who opposed Spain’s proposed trans rights law. From South Korea, the Women’s Party of Korea, a single-issue anti-trans political party founded in 2020, signed on.