-By Ananya Bharti, BA LLB (H),
Vivekananda School of Law and Legal Studies (VIPS)
“Like being women, like being a racial, religious, tribal or, ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. That is why gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”
WHAT IS GENDER DISPARITY?
when a group of people based on their gender is being discriminated and are not treated as equals which arises due to distinction because of biological , psychological, or cultural norms is what gender disparity stands at. It is a term with negative connotation and often use for the disparity that a women goes through. But is it the case that only women face gender disparity?
In case of Nalsa v. union of India, it was held that LGBT community forms the third gender. On analyzing this case a very critical question arises which is a striking hammer on the rationality of societal norm:
“Whether even after passing of this judgment, the fundamental right of this “third gender group” is not violated?”
The answer to this question is an “outright yes”. If we rotate our head around the surrounding we live on we cannot find even a single instance where these third gender groups are accepted except within the laws and judgment.
In wider sense this is what the gender disparity. Hence gender disparity is not only the disparity against women but it is also the disparity against third gender. Let’s discuss this issue by bifurcating it into two:
- disparity against women
- disparity against third gender
DISPARITY AGAINST WOMEN:
According to census 2011, the child sex ratio is lowest it has ever been with 914 girls for every 1000 boys. This numerical count shows the harsh reality. It reflects the practices which are evil in nature but yet going against a girl child. Infanticides, feticides are among most prevalent reason for the less number of girls as comparison to boys.
What causes disparity against women-?
- job segregation
- uneven access to women
- lack of employment equality
- lack of legal protection
- poor medical care
- lack of bodily autonomy
- societal mindset
Unequal societies (discrimination based on gender) are less cohesive. They have higher rates of anti-social behavior and violence. Countries with greater gender equality are more connected. Their people are healthier and have better wellbeing.
With the current rate of change, the global gender gap will not close for another 100 years. But even for this gradual we can adopt certain steps to bring gender disparity to its best. The steps that can be taken are:
- Stopping child marriage and sexual harassment
- Making education gender sensitive
- Raising aspirations of girls and their parents
- Giving proper value to ‘women’s work’
- Encouraging women into non-traditional vocations
- Giving women platforms to be in power and achieve economic success.
- Ending child marriage
- Confronting gender stereotyping by news media
- Increasing public consciousness of consequences of gender disparity
On a global scale, achieving gender equality also requires eliminating harmful practices against women and girls, including sex trafficking, feticide, wartime sexual violence, gender wage gap, and other oppression tactics.
DISPARITY AGAINST THIRD GENDER:
Despite various laws, people in various countries are fired, bullied, targeted and harassed because they belong from the community of third gender. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is the violation of person’s fundamental right.
If we have a glance over the judicial history, we can find that transgender are given the following right:
- Right to be treated with equality under article 14 of constitution of India.
- Right to employment under article 15 of constitution of India.
- Right under article 19(1) (g) of constitution of India.
- Right under article 21 of the constitution of India.
but the main concern with these rights are whether these rights are availed by the person to whom it is granted.it is not that that the legal authorities are abridging the LGBT community with their rights but it is the common people who are making an ambience which make them to sense “ unacceptance”.
In Indian history of our country, Transgender Community was accorded a social and important status. The Hindu mythology, Vedic and Puranic literature recognized them as the Third Gender and bestowed them with great respect. They played a very important role in the royal courts and also were considered to have a great power to give blessings and curse.
during and after the British rule in India, this status of LGBT community reduced to dust and consequently they lost their significance in the society and the present scenario can be judge by everyone.
Before talking about the remedies to reduce this disparity, there are certain hammers that are needed to be analyzed:
- Whether the state should make such legislations to protect the rights of transgender.
- Whether transgender have this freedom to choose their gender.
- Non recognition of their gender identity is a violation of their fundamental rights.
These points are very important to talk on because these are the stepping stones on which the remedies to reduce this disparity can be formed on.
In a country laws to protect the rights of transgender should be made from the very basic level and the state should be made duty bound to make those laws and to check whether those laws are being implemented or not. At present transgender are protected under” The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019”.it provides transgender protection from discrimination in fields of employment, education and healthcare. It also recognizes the gender identity of the individual, and there are provisions in the law for a certificate to be issued with their new gender identity. The law also provides for:
- Offences and penalties
- National Council for Transgender Persons
- Obligations on Establishments(corporate authority)
- Rehabilitation and right of residence
Other laws and awareness that can work simultaneously are:
- Sensitization and education about the gender neutrality
- Sex/gender reassignment surgery (SRS) transition(the policies should be liberalized)
- Gender neutral washrooms
- Anti-harassment policies
Gender inequalities, and their social causes, impact India’s sex ratio, women’s health over their lifetimes, their educational attainment, and economic conditions. With the recent trend, Gender inequality in India is a multifaceted issue that concerns men, women and LGBT community. The golden thread that runs through the equality scheme of the Indian constitution (Articles 14, 15, 16, 19 and 21) is ‘enjoyment of life by all citizens and an equal opportunity to grow as human beings irrespective of their race, caste, religion, community, social status and gender”, should be run to all irrespective of sexual orientation.
NALSA V. UNION of India-law times journal (lawtimesjournal.in)http://lawtimesjournal.in/nlsa-vs-union-of-india/accessed on 4th april,2021
india sex ratio2020statistictimes.com(statistictimes.com)https://statisticstimes.com/demographics/country/india-sex-ratio.php/accessed on 4th april,2021
womenandgirlclosingthegendergap(un.org)https://www.un.org/en/un75/women_girls_closing_gender_gap/accessed on 4th april,2021
 Transgender rights, the ‘Third Gender’ and transforming the workplace in India(lus laboris)https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b49d9488-c484-4d00-882c-2c386a041a07/accessed on 4th April 2021