Trans rights in the European Union – “sex” v. “gender” on the path towards equality and non-discrimination


  • Ana Cardoso University of Minho



LGBTIQ rights, principle of equality, principle of non-discrimination, sex, gender


Equality and non-discrimination are two of the most important foundational values of the European Union. But a rapidly evolving society means that their practical application has to be constantly under review to assess if their content and objectives are being fulfilled. When it comes to the rights of the LGBTIQ community – here in particular of trans when compared with cis women – there is still a long way to go to effectively safeguard them, while reasonably protecting all involved. Terminological confusion around the concepts of “sex” and “gender” has served to justify the curtailment of the fight for equality and non-discrimination, and relegate trans women to a position of second-class citizens. The EU needs to review its approach to this particular issue and enshrine into law the concepts of “sex” and “gender” as a way to continue to push forward in its fight for LGBTIQ rights, doing justice to its moniker of “rainbow Europe”.


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How to Cite

Cardoso, A. (2023). Trans rights in the European Union – “sex” v. “gender” on the path towards equality and non-discrimination. UNIO – EU Law Journal, 8(2), 51–62.




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