India at 100 should be a society where gender is not used as a tool to exclude

Source: The post is based on an article “India at 100 should be a society where gender is not used as a tool to exclude” published in The Indian Express on 14th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2- mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections

News: The article discusses the problems associated with Trans-genders and steps taken by the government to resolve them.

What steps have been taken by government and court for the welfare of Trans-gender community?

Court

The NALSA vs Union of India judgment of 2014 gave equal rights to the transgender community.

It talked about the self-determination of gender, prevention of discrimination in all spheres of life and spoke about positive action for the community.

The Madras High Court in a series of judgments has issued orders for reforming queerphobic curricula, banning conversion therapy, issuing a glossary for trans-sensitive media reporting, among others.

Government

The Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act was enacted and its rules were notified in 2019.  It led to the formation of National Council for Transgender Persons for the first time.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal ministry for the welfare of transgender persons. It launched social measures like a National Portal for application for Transgender ID cards, the SMILE scheme, etc.

The recent one is Ayushman Bharat TG Plus card that provides health insurance for transgender persons including gender-affirming care.

However, all these measures are not enough to improve the condition of trans-gender community and there is still a lot to be done.

What problems are still faced by the trans-gender community?

The Transgender Persons Act and Rules don’t provide for a reservation which was directed in the NALSA judgment.

Many states and UTs have not yet notified rules, or created separate washroom for trans-persons, among others.

Only 2 percent of transgender persons have been issued transgender ID cards which makes them eligible for various social schemes.

Transgender Welfare Boards have also not been constituted in many states and UTs.

The government has also opposed same-sex marriages and abstained from voting at the UN on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Laws on reproductive health have excluded trans and queers from committing surrogacy, availing artificial reproductive techniques or seeking a legal abortion.

These all show that there is a lot more to be done and India should transform itself from gender biased state towards a gender inclusive state.

How should India move forward in recognizing other genders?

India should not continue excluding a section of society for the way they are born even after 75 years of our Independence.

India should have a society where gender is not used as a tool to exclude, discriminate or harass.

It should be a nation where transgender people are sitting in Parliament or in the assemblies and shaping their destiny.

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