Transgender rights got a heads-up in India when the Government decided on supporting yet another progressive amendment. The standing committee on transgender person protection of rights bill 2016, recommended removal of the term “neither wholly male nor female” to describe a transgender person and the government has nodded their approval.
In 2014, the Supreme Court gave an open recognition of the transgender community, allowing the term “third gender” to be used henceforth. The people having the third gender were to be considered as much as rightful of the constitutional privileges of the other two genders in the country.
This was revolutionary in a sense of giving full acknowledgment of validity to the transgender identities. The people who do not conform to their gender of their body at birth, are generally discriminated and viewed as unnatural, which subjects them to outcast behavior. The ruling spoke for the transgenders being authorized to have their deserving human rights of making choices, freedom of the expression of their identity and participating in community life.
The bill is going to be discussed in the Parliament in the winter session recently started. A source of News18 from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has informed about the changes incorporated in it. After much protests, mass signature petitions came up against the old “trans-exclusionary and regressive” bill, the special committee recommendation has finally earned its recommendation. The committee was led by the BJP Member of Lok Sabha, Ramesh Bai, and it included 17 and 10 loksabha and Rajyasabha members respectively. The people who contributed to the amendment decision-making process were law experts like Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, NGOs like Amnesty International, Lawyers Collective, All India Hijra Transgender Samiti, and Dr. Kaveri Rajaraman.
According to them, the key change was in the definition, which earlier described transgenders as “partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male”, now remove the controversial term.
Other key amendments are:
01. The “family” clause gives transgenders the right to consider their own peer circle as immediate family. Also, to transgender person or child can be separated from their family on the grounds of their gender identity without court orders.
02. Transgenders having special health issues or need of having to go under sex reassignment surgery or hormonal therapy will be covered under a special health scheme from the government.
03. The proposed national council will take care of transgender grievances.
04. Complaint officer recruitment criterion has been modified. Even an organization less than 100 people can have their own CO.
The Logical Indian Take
The Logical Indian applauds the news of positive change which was much-awaited. We sincerely urge all readers to respect the human rights of people irrespective of gender, race, sexuality and caste.