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Bills on transgenders, disabled will be introduced in the Parliament: Social Justice and Empowerment Minister

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pix-ThawarGehlot

New Delhi : The Government is working on an umbrella policy for transgenders and a bill on their rights would be introduced in parliament in the coming monsoon session, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said on Thursday.

Two bills on the rights of disabled people and atrocities on Dalits would also be taken up, Gehlot said at a press conference organised to list the achievements of his ministry in the last one year.

He said. “We want to provide all facilities to transgenders that are given to Scheduled Castes and Tribes.”

“A committee formed under the chairmanship of a senior official to make an in-depth study of the problems faced by the transgenders submitted its report on January 27 last year. An inter-ministerial committee has been constituted for the implementation of its recommendations.”, he added.

Two bills on rights of disabled people and atrocities against Dalits were pending with parliamentary committees and would also be taken up in the monsoon session. Loans are being provided to the disabled to make them self-sufficient.

The ministry had formulated a draft bill to prevent begging. ” ‘The Persons in Destitution (Protection, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill of 2015’ was sent to State Governments on April 17 for their comments,” Gehlot said.

“At least four to five of the 81 NGOs working with his ministry have been found guilty of misusing funds. The Modi Government also planned large-scale celebrations of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary. The year-long celebrations will end on April 14 next year.Plans were also afoot to buy the residential property in London where Ambedkar lived while studying in the London School of Economics during 1921-22.”, he further added. (IANS)

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What Gives Husbands The Licence to Rape? Decoding Marital Rape in the Indian Legal Scenario

Can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman?

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Marital rape
While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India. Pixabay
  • Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence
  • Marital rape is yet to be categorized as a criminal offence in India
  • According to the central government, criminalizing marital rape “may destabilize the institution of marriage”

New Delhi, September 2, 2017 : Baby works as a domestic help; she says she cannot recall her age when her parents married her off to a man who was much older to her; a man she barely knew. She didn’t anticipate her husband would demand to have intercourse on their wedding night. She was still young and not ready, but that didn’t stop him. Baby was raped by her husband on her wedding night. But marital rape means nothing to her.

Sunita irons clothes for a living. She says has been married for more years than she can remember. The duo has four kids together, but that doesn’t stop her husband from raising a hand or two on her, every once in a while. Every night, her husband would get drunk, hit her and forcefully demand to have sex, paying no heed to her resistance. Sunita has three daughters, and a son, and the husband still wants to have progenies. “I told my mother that this man has raped me multiple times. She protested, arguing that he is ‘your husband’ after all,” she said.

But did she never decide to approach the authorities?

To this, Sunita promptly replied, “I once had a sore eye after he (the husband) hit me with his shoe when I refused to have sex. I went to the local hospital and then the police. I narrated the entire scene; they were very considerate, offered me water and then asked me to go home and ‘adjust’.”

Sunita is unaware of a term called ‘marital rape’.

This is the reality of a huge part of the society in real India.

Like Baby and Sunita, women who suffer such indignities are often asked to “adjust” with perpetrators of violence because of a deep –embedded fear of what the society would say. This notion of an ‘ideal woman’ impedes women to object to illicit treatment meted out by their ‘better halves’.

The debate around the issue has become ripe once again with the Central Government stating that what “may appear to be marital rape” to a wife “may not appear so to others”. In an affidavit to the Delhi High Court, the central government took a stand against criminalizing marital rape saying that it “may destabilize the institution of marriage” and also become easy tool for harass the husbands and the in-laws.

Rape v/s Marital Rape

Rape is defined in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, but with an irregularity: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

While rape is addressed as perforation without a woman’s accord in its main clause, the only remedy to forced intercourse provided to ‘married’ woman is specified under Section 498-A of the IPC and the civil provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestiic Violence Act.

Following the horrific 2012 Nirbhaya rape case that brought the entire world to a standstill, the Indian media has given paramount coverage to instances of rape across the country. But even after 5 years of the gut-wrenching incident, there seems no end to this crime.

ALSO READ The Hardships of Sexuality: Marital rape, violence and humiliation

Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence. However, rape by husbands within holy matrimony continues to remain an obscure subject in India and the exact number of cases is hard to gauge.

According to a 2015 report by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) tracing the proximity of offenders to the victims of sexual violence, it was revealed that in 95 per cent of all rapes, the offenders were familiar to the survivors. These, presumably include acquaintances, friends, relatives and colleagues.

And what about rape committed by husbands?

These cases continue to be an under-reported crime in India. This can be attributed to two major reasons,

  • Because of the stigma associated with it
  • Because of the presence of a defunct justice system

Furthermore, more often than not, these cases go missing because of several additional (and unnecessary) barriers stemming from a combination of familial and/or social power structures, shame and dependency.

Marital Rape In India

While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India.

A United Nations’ report titled ‘Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it?’ published in 2013 disclosed that nearly a quarter of 10,000 men  in Asia-Pacific region, including India, admitted to have indulged in the rape of a female partner. The report traced their rationale to a deep-embedded belief that they are entitled to sex despite the consent of their partners.

The study also revealed that the majority of these instances were not reported and the perpetrators faced no legal consequences.

In 2014, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in association with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) brought out a report titled ‘Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India’. Among other things, the report analyzed the average Indian male’s understanding and interpretation of the idea of ‘masculinity’ and how that molds their interactions with women.

Not surprisingly, the study revealed that a typical man in the Indian society associated the attributes ‘tough’, and ‘controlling’ with masculinity.

Segments of the present day Indian society continue to look at men as tough forces, who can (must) freely exercise their privilege to establish rule in personal relationships and above all, continue to control women.

Additionally, the study also revealed that 60 per cent of the Indian men disclosed the use of physical violence to establish authority.

In India, stiff patriarchal norms continue to tilt the gender balance firmly in the favor of men, as a result of which, women are forced to internalize male dominance in their lives.

Marital Rape in India : A Legal Perspective

Section 375 essentially distinguishes between two categories of women

  • Married women
  • Unmarried women

Much to the Indian society’s disappointment, the Indian legal system denies protection from rape to the married woman. This creates discrimination as the women belonging to one section are denied justice merely by virtue of being married.

But can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman? Is it justified to discriminate a woman just because she is married to the man who has raped her?

The Debate Around Marital Rape In India

Despite the piquant situation, the issue raised furor when Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Parliament that the question of criminalizing marital rape in India has no relevance “as marriage is treated as sacred here.”

Does marriage being a sacrament provide one with the legal right to rape a woman?

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly had retaliated saying that it is particularly concerning when a government that claims to secure the safety of women inside and outside national territory shamelessly turn to justify a crime in the name of culture and tradition.

Group director of social and economic development at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) Priya Nanda asserted in an interview with a leading portal that “the reason men don’t want to criminalize marital rape is because they don’t want to give a woman the power to say no.”

In 2013, a three-member commission headed by Justice J.S. Verma suggested remedial measures to combat sexual violence in India, following the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case. One of its recommendations was the criminalization of marital rape.

ALSO READ Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

The recommendation was ignored by the government as a large amount of people questioned its efficiency saying if made a crime,

  • It might be misused by people
  • It will be difficult to prove
  • It might break up marriages

But, how fair is it to not have a law against marital rape, only because of the reason that it is ‘difficult to prove’?

In a broader understanding, it needs to be understood that the criminalization of marital rape must not be viewed as a step against men or the institution of matrimony, but as an attempt to demolish the patriarchal system that continues to clutch the Indian society.


 

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Multiple Gender Identity Debate: Canada Passes Bill C-16

After months of debates and discussions, the government of Canada has passed the controversial C-16 Bill

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Gender Identity Debate
Bill C-16, Canada. Twitter
  • Gender Identity has become an important issue in most western society, arising out of liberal ideas
  • Canada, known to be extremely liberal under PM Justin Trudeau, has passed the Bill C-16 
  • The bill does not guarantee an awful lot except for endowing trans and non-binary people with the right to be called by their demanded pronoun, violation of which is harassment and punishable

Canada, June 16, 2017: Canada has passed the Bill C-16 after months of discussions and debates. It seeks to identify multiple gender identities in an attempt to uplift the transgender communities.

While the trans-Canadians and non-binary people celebrate the victory, many are not aware that the bill is dangerous to the order of the society. It attempts to curtail Freedom of Speech, it promotes construct, and it is authoritarian.

What is Bill C-16? It is an attempt to protect the gender identity of the individual. It integrates “gender expression” and “gender identity” in the Canadian Human Rights and the Criminal Code. The Senate has passed the bill and now awaits the royal assent in the House of Commons to become a law. 

To prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity, the government will approve certain terms that citizens will be compelled to use to address the non-binary people. These terms MUST be used.

Bill C-16 is based on individual experience and feelings. Click To Tweet

These government approved gender pronouns MUST be used by employers, professors, officials and everyone else, otherwise, it amounts to hate crime with legal consequences.

What’s Good? Well, it stands for anti-discrimination of trans and non-binary people in different places like Universities and employments. Transgenders are subject to hate and violence in numerous spheres of life.

So Whats Wrong? It is flawed in multiple ways and it is dangerous. The bill is not a progressive step in preventing discrimination, rather, far from it. It is an attempt to include in the Criminal Code something that is not definable.

The government wants to alter the English language so a small proportion of people feel safe and comfortable. In addition to the sensible He-She, His-Hers, Him-Her, nonsensical invented pronouns such as Ze, Hir, Per, etc (over 50 new pronouns) will be added. Absolutely ridiculous!

Gender Identity
List of invented pronouns. Twitter

Bill C-16 is compelled speech. It forces the individual to speak certain government approved terms. It cannot be called a right when its just oppression on the larger section of the society. It will start to affect people. Freedom of speech, essence of democracy, will be compromised!

On a Facebook page, someone rightly stated-

“In Justin Trudeau’s Canada, where diversity and political correctness reign, legislation like Bill C-16 can get one thinking about a future where everyone must memorize 56 new pronouns and apply them correctly to people who drift in and out of various gender identities”

People are now endowed with the right to demand that you call them by a certain pronoun that they feel safe with. Can the advocates of Bill C-16 even comprehend as to what adverse effects this will have on human interaction? It is a weapon by the left to bring political correctness.

J.C Borque says “Telling me how to speak is just as bad as telling me to shut up.” Empirical evidence suggests when you mandate such a thing it makes people more prejudiced.

The bill and the underlying arguement is unscientific. It is a joke on the sincere efforts of biological science. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that biological factors play a role in determining gender identity.The Ontario Human Rights Code defines gender identity as “a person’s internal or individual experience of their gender.” This is wrong. Gender is not about your individual experiences.

Violators of the Bill C-16 could be charged with hate crimes and hate speech, repercussions of which include fine. Failure to pay fine will result in prison, and taking up ‘anti-bias’ training.

Bill C-16 is based on individual experience and feelings.

Critics of Bill C-16 do not promote discrimination of Trans or Non-binary people, however, they are against the legislation of mandatory speech. They explain that government approved pronouns are not gonna do the trans community any good, neither in the short run nor in the long run.

In the trans community, there are many important issues to be discussed for and against hate crime legislation, instead, we are changing pronouns.

Gender identity debate is a growing discussion in the western society. Young students are campaigning for additional personal pronouns. A similar bill is being discussed in New York, which already has 31 protected genders.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Want to Study at a Foreign University? Take Tips from My Experience!

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– by Aania Datta

March 31, 2017: During my growing up years, people would often ask me what I wanted to become, and I would promptly reply, that I wanted to be the doorkeeper of all the treasures in the world, just like the character in my magical fairy tales.

Seldom did I know that with the passage of time, my developing interest in the matters of business, trade and fiscal policies of my country would propel me to take up B. Com as my graduation subject in college. Hi, I am Aania Datta, aged 22, exploring opportunities to do my majors in Economics abroad.

Breaking the Barriers

Believe it or not, not a single person from my family has travelled abroad to pursue studies. We are a joint family of 15 members, staying happily in one of those huge bungalows of CR Park, Delhi. I have always been a rebel since childhood.

My keenness to watch the annual budget session in the parliament and the English news channels always irked my cousins because watching these programmes meant zero time for cartoons and Mahabharata episodes.

My selection of commerce after my class 10th annoyed many in the family as all of them felt that I was superb in English and so should take up humanities. My family profoundly believed that arts and humanities were always a source of professional salvation as they opened up a plethora of professional avenues for a girl. With very good grades in mathematics and after a lot of heated discussions with my parents, I finally took up commerce.

As time passed, my interest in the matters of economy grew and then in a logical progression of career; I went on to secure the first name on the St Stephens admission list for Economics (Hons). My entire family was baffled with this news and with this, I broke my very first barrier of being the first woman in the Datta household to take up economics as a graduation subject and that too in one of the most reputed colleges of the country.

Over a period of time, my diligence and hard work paid off and I scored well in all my exams. My teachers and mentors all encouraged me to pursue further studies abroad. The idea of studying abroad was revolutionary, and it meant a lot of groundwork and finding out the best study abroad consultants in Delhi.

Exploring the Possibilities with Mobile Marketplace

Finding a good consultant was a task, and after a fortnight of meeting consultants recommended by known people, I was on the brink of giving up. Something or the other was lacking. I remember it was my birthday eve, and I was on a long distance call with a cousin of mine who was studying in Australia.

She suggested me to explore mobile marketplace of services such as UrbanClap to scout around for the reputed study abroad consultants in Delhi. This kindled a fresh hope in me, and I immediately downloaded the marketplace app and placed in my requirement.

Within a single day, I got the quotes from a few of the best names in the industry and after having a thorough conversation with shortlisted consultants, I finally zeroed in on one based out of Chanakyapuri. Both my parents and I were greatly impressed by the fact that they had a concrete plan of action for not only short listing the best universities for me but also supporting me with the Student Visa, estimating the total expense of pursuing the course, accommodation in the student hubs, and part time jobs for expense support. All that they spoke and presented calmed down my delirious folks.

Taking off

Breaking free from all inhibitions and preconceived notions, I embarked on the journey of closely working with the deemed consultant to finalize between London School of Economics and Stanford University. It took us three months to figure out everything and finally, the day arrived when I was just standing there with my parents in the Delhi International Airport, teary eyed but excited to take on the new world of challenges. Thanks to UrbanClap for connecting me to one of the most capable study abroad consultants in Delhi.

Today, a lot of my cousins are motivated to take up courses abroad and I am happy to share that I have become a source of pride for my parents because I am funding my education through a student work-earn program.