The Transgender Persons – Protection of Rights Bill 2019
- The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament on November 26, 2019. The Bill defines a trans-person as someone whose gender does not match the one assigned at birth. It prohibits discrimination against them in employment, education, housing, healthcare and other services.
Highlights of the Bill:
- The purpose of this bill is to end discrimination against transgenders in various fields. The areas where they are discriminated against are education, livelihood and health care.
- The Bill directs the Central and State Governments to run welfare schemes for these.
- The Bill states that a person will be recognized as a transgender on the basis of an identity certificate issued through the district screening committee. This certificate will be treated as proof of the identity of the transgender and the powers prescribed within the Bill will be given to him.
- To bring transgender persons into the mainstream of society and make their importance fruitful for the society. This bill will benefit many transgenders and will reduce the stigma imposed on them and will also reduce discrimination and misbehavior.
- The bill will empower the transgender community socially, educationally and economically.
- This new bill also contains an amendment to the definition of transgender community. In earlier definitions, they were described as neither fully female nor fully male. This definition was criticized as insensitive.
- New Definition: According to the new definition, a transgender is a person whose current gender is different from his/her gender at birth, and these people come in – Trans-men or Trans-women, people with inter-sexual variations, people with heterosexual and some individuals with socio-cultural identities such as – Kinnar, Hijra, Aravani and Jogata.
Inadequacies of the Bill:
- Many civil society groups have opposed the bill, and said that the transgenders should have the right to give his or her own identity and not through a district screening committee.
- The bill is also silent on the issue of providing reservation to transgenders.
- The bill provides punishment for organized begging, but no economic alternative has been given in its place.
- There is no provision of any punishment in the Bill for rape or sexual acts of transgenders, because transgender is not included in the definition of rape in the Indian Penal Code.
Source – PIB