India to Recognize Third Gender

Sarah Joanne Jakubowski, Contributing Journalist
Last Modified: 22:32 p.m. DST, 19 April 2014

HijraParticipant - Chhath Festival - Howrah 2013-11-09, Source Wikipedia

HijraParticipant – Chhath Festival

INDIA – A decision was made on 15 April 2014 in favor of the 3 million Indians who are transgender. On legal forms, there is now a third category marked either “transgender” or “other.” The Indian constitution orders against gender discrimination and more and more people are beginning to realize that that includes more than just men and women.

Transgender is defined as someone who has acquired physical characteristics of the opposite sex, who identify as neither male or female, or who present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

Among other things, transgendered people now have the legal right to adopt children and to have the same jobs as non-transgendered people. Before the law, the majority was either restricted to “show” careers — singing and dancing — or to a life of begging or prostitution. Now if needed they can be included in welfare programs that help provide jobs, education and healthcare.

Public toilets for the transgender community as well as transgender-specific health services are now available. India has also launched public awareness campaigns to fight the stigma against transgender people.

Since the ruling, 28,000 people have chosen to identify themselves as “other” on voter registration forms.

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Contributing Journalist: @SJJakubowski

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About Sarah Jakubowski

Sarah Jakubowski has a BA in English and a BA in Philosophy from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She is dedicated to making world issues and scientific findings more accessible to the public. Twitter: @SJJakubowski

View all posts by Sarah Jakubowski

One Comment on “India to Recognize Third Gender”

  1. Yousei Hime Says:

    And with this, in social progress, India steps ahead of most countries.


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