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Miss Transqueen India 2017 : Delhi Says Be-YOU-tiful, Gears Up to Host Transgender Beauty Pageant on August 27

Recently, Kerala hosted the first ever Indian transgender beauty pageant. Now its time for Delhi to bring together trans-women for a national competition.

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Organizers believe the pageant will be a 'symbol of change' for the Indian trans community. Wikimedia
  • Delhi-NCR to hold a one-of-its-kind national beauty pageant for Indian trans-women
  • The competition aims to augment acceptability of the minority community and help them find stable jobs

New Delhi, August 23, 2017 : The struggle for acceptance, visibility and protection by transgender individuals has a long history. Of late, the issue has come under radar as steps are now being taken to bring the community at par with the mainstream society. To further these efforts, the capital city is now gearing up to host a one-of its-kind beauty pageant for Indian trans-women on August 27.

In this unique competition which will be hosted in Gurugram (Delhi-NCR region) sixteen trans-women from all over the country will compete for the coveted title of ‘Miss Transqueen India 2017‘.

The winner of the crown will also get an opportunity to represent India at the ‘Miss International Transqueen’ which has been scheduled to take place in Thailand next year.

The Miss Transqueen 2017 competition aims celebrate trans beauty and to inculcate confidence among Indian trans-women who are often self-stigmatized due to the society’s alien behavior.

More recently, Kerala hosted the first ever Indian transgender beauty pageant on June 15 which was attended by people in large numbers.

The Miss Transqueen Indian 2017 event is being organized and managed by the event-management firm Suhani Dreamcatchers. According to a report by PTI, Reena Rai, the founder of the firm highlighted that transgender people are often made to feel ‘different’ in the Indian society, who think they are only good enough for begging or unskilled work. “We want to change this. Our beauty pageant and its grooming sessions offer hope and is a symbol for change,” she said.

ALSO READ India’s First ever Transgender Athletics meet in Kerala

The competition bears its roots in India’s various campaigns for gender equality and empowerment, and aims to augment acceptance of trans-women in the Indian society and help them find respectable work in different mainstream industries like fashion, television, films and the likes.

The 16 shortlisted participants, who are now preparing for the Delhi competition, were chosen after several rounds of nationwide auditions that saw as many as 1,500 entries. The participants have also undergone rigorous training under close supervision of several well-known grooming experts from the industry.

Educator and grooming expert Avleen Khokhar, who is also associated with the event, believes in the importance of such platforms to empower the third gender.

According to her, “The transgender community is India is being denied education and jobs due to persistent discrimination.” She strongly propagates that competitions and platforms like these are not only necessary to further inclusion of this minority community into the mainstream Indian society but also provide the third gender with “an opportunity to embrace and empower themselves.”

ALSO READ: India becoming more Transgender- Friendly: Read this report

The event, which is slated for August 27, is expected to host big names from the country. The winner of the pageant will be crowned by Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 Laetica Phylliscia Raveena.


 

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UN Launches Campaign to Bring Young Generation into Gender Equality Fight

UN Women announced its new "Generation Equality: Realizing women's rights for an equal future'' at a news conference

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FILE - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of U.N. Women, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in New York, March 7, 2018. VOA

The U.N. women’s agency launched a campaign Monday to bring a young generation of women and men into the campaign for gender equality ahead of next year’s 25th anniversary of the conference that adopted the only international platform to achieve women’s rights and empowerment.

UN Women announced its new “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future” at a news conference where it also made public events planned to mark adoption of the 150-page platform for action to achieve gender equality by 189 governments at the 1995 Beijing women’s conference.

“Today, nearly 25 years after the historic Beijing conference, the reality is that not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality,” said a statement from UN Women’s executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Despite some progress, real change has been too slow for most women and girls in the world, and we see significant pushback in many places.”

“Women continue to be discriminated against and their contributions undervalued,” she added. “They work more, earn less and have fewer choices about their bodies, livelihoods and futures than men – and they experience multiple forms of violence at home, at work and in public spaces.”

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Chinese women delegates walk together to pose outside the Great Hall of the People after attending a plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, Thursday, March 8, 2018. VOA

Mlambo-Ngcuka said the General Equality campaign is aimed at speeding systematic change “on the laws, policies and outdated mindsets that must no longer curtail women’s voice, choice and safety.”

UN Women’s deputy executive director, Asa Regner, said at the news conference that there have been positive results since Beijing. She pointed to a record number of girls in school, better access to health care, a decrease in maternal mortality, more women in top positions in the business world and fresh efforts to address violence against women and to put women at peace negotiating tables. But she said the biggest challenges are to change male-dominated “power structures” that leave far more women and girls facing poverty and violence.

Ahead of next year’s anniversary events, UN Women has asked all 193 U.N. member nations to submit details and data on what their countries have done to implement the 1995 Beijing platform, Regner said. As of Friday, she said, it had received 22 responses but hopes the entire membership will answer.

The Beijing platform called for bold actions in 12 critical areas for women and girls including combatting poverty and violence, improving human rights and access to reproductive and sexual health care, and ensuring that all girls get an education and that women are at the top levels of business and government, and the top table in peace negotiations.

Events leading up to next year’s anniversary include the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women’s annual meeting in March 2020 devoted to Beijing’s implementation, a high-level meeting when world leaders gather for the annual General Assembly session in September 2020, and a “Global Gender Equality Forum” co-hosted by France and Mexico in France bringing civil society representatives and activists of all ages together to look to the future. No date has been announced yet for that event.

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UN Women announced its new “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future” at a news conference. VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at Monday evening’s opening of an exhibition on women who were part of the Soviet Union’s military effort in World War II that “we will not achieve peace” or any of the U.N.’s development goals for 2030 “without the full and equal participation of women.”

“Yet we all know that there is still a stark imbalance of power around the world, and we are even seeing a backlash in some areas against women’s rights,” he said.

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Regner said the majority of countries favor progress on gender equality, but there is “pushback.” There are governments and movements, she said, that value “so-called traditional family values and other ideas around women’s and men’s roles both in families and in societies which do not correspond to international agreements, and which would not necessarily give women the space and possibility to decide over their own lives, bodies, economic empowerment, etc.”

Regner, a former Swedish minister, said UN Women’s task is to spur implementation of Beijing and other agreements – and “we will never back down.” (VOA)