Rajya Sabha discusses Bill to protect rights of transgenders

RSTV Bureau
File Photo: Rajya Sabha Session

File Photo: Rajya Sabha Session

A bill which provides a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders by defining their identity and rights to prohibit discrimination against them was discussed in the Rajya Sabha today.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, introduced by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, provides a mechanism for their social, economic and educational empowerment.

According to the bill, a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth.  It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.

Intersex variations is defined to mean a person who at birth shows variation in his or her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from the normative standard of male or female body.

Going by the bill, a transgender person may make an application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, indicating the gender as ‘transgender’.  A revised certificate may be obtained only if the individual undergoes surgery to change their gender either as a male or a female.

The Bill states that the relevant government will take measures to ensure the full inclusion and participation of transgender persons in society.  It must also take steps for their rescue and rehabilitation, vocational training and self-employment, create schemes that are transgender sensitive, and promote their participation in cultural activities.