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Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Topics covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

What to study?

For Prelims: Definitions included and key features of the bill.

For Mains: Significance, criticisms and the need for a comprehensive review.

Context: The Social Justice Ministry notified the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The Bill was passed by Parliament in November 2019.

Impact:

This will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. This will lead to inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.

New definition:

According to the new definition, a transgender person is somebody “whose gender does not match the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-men or trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons having socio-cultural identities such as kinnar, hijras, aravani, and jogta”.

Highlights of the Bill:

  1. The Act aims to stop discrimination against a transgender person in various sectors such as education, employment, and healthcare. It also directs the central and state governments to provide welfare schemes for them.
  2. It states that a person will be recognized as transgender on the basis of a certificate of identity issued by the District Magistrate. This certificate will be a proof of identity as transgender and confer rights under this Bill.
  3. Going by the Act, a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy.
  4. It also requires transgender persons to go through a district magistrate and “district screening committee” to get certified as a transperson.
  5. Composition: The committee would comprise a medical officer, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a district welfare officer, a government official, and a transgender person.

Criticisms:

The Act is silent on granting reservations to transgender persons.

It has prescribed punishments for organised begging. However, the

Act doesn’t provide anything to better to condition in those areas, it doesn’t provide for reservation.

It also does not mention any punishments for rape or sexual assault of transgender persons as according to Sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, rape is only when a man forcefully enters a woman.

 Sources: The Hindu.