An Oxfam staff training document states that “privileged white women” support the root causes of sexual violence by wanting “bad men” to be jailed.
Following sex scandals that rocked charity, Oxfam issued guidelines which state that: “Mainstream feminism focuses on privileged white women and demands that ‘bad men’ be fired or jailed.”
Accompanied by a cartoon of a white woman in tears, he adds that this “legitimizes criminal sanctions, harming blacks and other marginalized people.”
He advises staff to read a controversial book that concludes: “Mainstream feminism supports, not undoes, the root causes of sexual violence.
Oxfam said the training was voluntary and the opinions are not presented as their own but designed to help staff understand the issues.
However, the charity was warned on Wednesday night that the document, compiled by its LGBT network and seen by The Telegraph, could violate equality laws because it suggests reporting rape is “despicable.”
The four-week “learning journey” recommends that staff read Me Not You: The Trouble with Mainstream Feminism, a book by Alison Phipps, professor of gender studies at the University of Sussex.
Summarizing the central premise of the book, Oxfam’s document states that white feminists need to ask themselves whether they are causing harm when they fight sexual violence.
It then links to Professor Phipps’ Twitter account and a discussion thread that sums up the main themes of the book, including: “The tears of white feminists unfold the white wound and the sympathy it generates to hide the damage we perpetuate to.” through white supremacy. “
Naomi Cunningham, a discrimination and employment lawyer, said the document could violate the Equality Act, which prohibits harassment in the workplace on the basis of sex.
“The message appears to be that a woman who reports rape or sexual assault to police and files a complaint is a ‘despicable’ white feminist,” Cunningham said. “I think any woman could argue that this has created or contributed to ‘an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’, this is how the Equality Act defines harassment.”
Learning About Trans Rights and Inclusion was drafted in 2020, when Oxfam was still reeling from the sexual exploitation scandals in Haiti and Chad.
The charity suffered further blows in April this year, when an aid worker resigned alleging that there was a “toxic culture” and that her sexual harassment complaint had been ignored, and that she was facing to separate allegations of sexual misconduct in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The training manual was written after the charity’s LGBT + network wrote to the management team asking them to publicly support trans people and suggested that any rights debate was part of a ” white patriarchal and supremacist narrative ”used by the far right.
The letter called for specific resources to be made available, adding, “Claiming that trans inclusiveness would undermine the vital work we do for women and girls is not only transphobic, but also perpetuates the white savior complex that guess we know best for the people we work with. “
He says it is “transphobic” to question whether men who identify as women might pose a threat to women and the fact that debates over identity continue among staff exposes gay employees to “Harm”.
The strategic leadership team responded that there was “no place in Oxfam for transphobia”.
The document produced as a result of the complaint tells staff that the protection of single-sex spaces for women has “contributed to transphobia and the violation of trans rights.”
He says the charity “strongly” opposes any attempt to exclude trans women, adding in an “important background note”: “Oxfam actively opposes any implication that the realization of human rights and the inclusion of trans poses a threat to the creation of a safe environment for all. “