- Problems faced by Transgenders
- Important steps taken for their welfare so far
- Steps that further needs to be taken
LGBTIQA++ is an inclusive term that includes people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies.
LGB (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual)
Who are Transgenders?
- People who have a gender identity or expression that differs/doesn’t conform to the social expectations for their assigned sex. They are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.
- Transgenders also include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer/non-binary).
- Intersex – Individuals who don’t fit into specific gender norms of woman or man; can also be used for those with reproductive anatomy that isn’t biologically typical.
- Questioning – when a person is exploring their sexuality, gender identity and gender expression
- Queer – An inclusive term or as a unique celebration of not molding to social norms.
- Asexual – used for those who don’t feel sexual attraction to either sex or that don’t feel romantic attraction in the typical way.
Population: Estimated transgender population > 4,90,000 (2011 census)
- But the transgender activists estimate the population to be 5-6 times more.
- In the United States 0.3% people identify themselves as transgender indicating that our census numbers are big under-estimation.
- It further shows that people in India still have to hide their identity as transgender.
- Nodal Ministry : Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Problems faced by Transgenders:
- Discrimination in Family
- Family gives up the child; higher rate of domestic violence; Orthodox mindset considers birth of transexual as ill omen.
- social stigma.
- discrimination in all walks of life (Education, Health, Work, Access to Public Facilities; Denial of residence);
- lack of self-determination (mis categorization as males or females);
- police harassment.
- insensitive laws (provisions for transgenders missing);
- For e.g.
- personal marriage laws don’t legalize homosexual marriages.
- Laws related to adoptions (The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA), and Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) – both laws – don’t mention anything about adoption by homosexual couples.
- For e.g.
- sexual harassment;
- Lack of understanding in society -> makes them feel isolated, lonely and may cause mental health issues.
Important steps taken for their welfare so far
i. Supreme Court Judgment in 2014: National Legal Service Authority vs. Union of India
- Declared Transgender people to be a ‘third gender’.
- Affirmed that fundamental rights granted under Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people
- Gave them right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third gender.
- The court also recognized transgender people as socially and economically backward classes and hence should be granted reservation in educational institutions and jobs.
ii. Steps taken by various state governments
- Some states like Bihar have already provided them reservations as OBCs.
- The state of Kerala had become the first state to announce the policy for transgenders in 2015. It has recently announced reservation in Higher educational institutions for transgenders.
- States like TN, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh have also allowed hiring of transgenders in police forces.
iii. Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
iv. Transgenders Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020
v. National Council for Transgender Persons constituted (Aug 2020)
vi. National Medical Commission declared conversion therapy a ‘professional misconduct’ and empowered the State Medical Councils to take disciplinary action if the guideline is breached.
- Earlier, Madras High Court had directed NMC to issue an official notification listing conversion therapy as a wrong, under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes and Ethics).
vii. Shelter Homes – ‘Garima Greha (July 2021)
- Shelter Homes – ‘Garima Greha’ for Transgenders: MoSJ&E has initiated 12 pilot shelter homes and provided financial assistance to community based organizations (CBOs) for setting up of shelter homes ‘Garima Greha’ for Transgender Persons. (July 2021)
- These pilot shelter homes are in States of Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan,
Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
- The main aim of these shelter homes is to provide safe and secure shelter to Transgender persons in need. These shelter homes would provide basic amenities like food, medical care, recreational facilities and also conduct capacity-building/skill development programmes for Transgender persons.
viii. National Portal for Transgender Persons
- The portal provides for the procedure for identification certificates issued by the District Magistrate. It is functional in all districts of the country.
- The portal was launched in Nov 2020.
- As of June 2021, i.e. within 6 months of its launch, the portal has issued 1,557 certificates.
ix. IWEI – India Workplace Equality Index (Dec 2020)
- It is touted as the country’s first comprehensive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace.
- It was launched in Dec 2020 by non-profit Keshav Suri Foundation (founder Hotelier activist Keshav Suri) partnered with Pride Circle, Stonewall UK and FICCI, to bring the IWEI to India Inc.
- The index measures 9 areas: policies and benefits, employee lifecycle, employee network group, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work.
- Standard Chartered Bank has been named as a ‘Gold Employer’ in the Indian Workplace Equality Index 2021 for its LGBT+ inclusion.
Steps that further needs to be taken
i. Proper estimation
ii. Sensitization and Awareness to deal with stigmatization
- Inclusion of third gender in school books
- Information, Education and Communication Programs
iii. Ending all forms of discrimination, coming up with welfare schemes etc.
- Effectively enforce the 2019 act
iv. Reservation in educational institutions and jobs
- This will help in dealing with poor literacy rate and employment situation
v. Special focus on their health needs
- Community had been demanding mental health counselling support and free gender transition surgery facilities in government hospitals.
- A large number of them are involved in flesh trade. There should be a plan to rehabilitate them in various other sectors
vii. Transgender Welfare board in all states should be made mandatory.
- This will provide an institutional set up to look after the welfare of the transgender community.
viii. Reforming Personal Laws to make them more inclusive.
“Legal provisions alone will not be able ensure equal rights for Transgenders, social attitude towards them needs to change” Discuss [15 marks, 250 words]