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Indian MPs urged to back transgender rights

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New York: India’s parliament should enact a bill to ensure better legal protection for the rights of the transgender population, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. download

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, if passed, will allow for legal gender recognition, removing a fundamental barrier for transgender people toward realizing their basic human rights, including protection from violence and discrimination, it said in a letter to Indian MPs.

“What is at stake in this bill is the fundamental dignity of transgender people, who for too long have had to endure public ridicule and humiliating treatment by police and other authorities,” Human Rights Watch said.

“India’s parliament should ensure transgender people have full legal recognition as required by the constitution and international law.”

While India has made considerable progress on rights of transgender people, most remain socially marginalized and deprived of basic rights, including the right to vote, own property, marry, and claim a formal identity through a passport or other government identification.

They are frequently publicly ridiculed and excluded from general society, enduring discrimination and humiliation from the police and medical authorities.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that transgender people be recognized as a third gender and enjoy all fundamental rights.

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on April 24, calls for equal rights to transgender people.

To become law, it now must be passed by the Lok Sabha, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a majority.

The minister for social justice and empowerment, belonging to the BJP, has thus far said that the government supports the issue but wants to bring its own comprehensive bill in this regard.

(IANS)

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Mission of Female Empowerment, Ivanka Trump Aims at Increasing Economic Opportunities For Women

She was in the East African country to promote a $50 million initiative enacted by her father in February that is aimed at encouraging women's employment in developing countries.

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US Senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump attends a meeting as part of the African Women’s Empowerment Dialogue, on Apr. 15, 2019, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House advisor, Ivanka, is heading to the Ivory Coast to continue her four-day trip aimed at increasing economic opportunities for women in the West African region.

Ivanka Trump, who serves as advisor to her father on economic empowerment, began her trip to the region with a visit to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa Sunday, where she announced a multi-million dollar U.S. government initiative to support women entrepreneurs.

The “2X Africa” initiative announced Monday by Trump and David Bohigian, the acting head of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, aims to mobilize $1 billion and directly invest $350 million in companies and funds “owned by women, led by women,” or by “providing a good or service that intentionally empowers women on the continent.”

Donald Trump
It was not immediately clear if the controversy that surrounds the U.S. president will follow his daughter to Africa. The president has not been kind in his remarks about Africa and its migrants. VOA

Later in the day, Ivanka Trump met with President Sahle-Work Zewde. They discussed a need for reform in Africa that would lead to improved opportunity and inclusivity for women.

She also held discussions on women’s empowerment with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, commending him for increasing the number of women in leadership positions in his government.

On Sunday, Bohigian signed a “letter of interest” with an Ethiopian company called Muya to help support the company through OPIC financing. Muya, owned by fashion designer Sara Abera, produces household products and was the first Ethiopian company to obtain membership in the World Fair Trade Organization.

Trump visited Muya on Sunday after she arrived in Addis Ababa for a summit on African women’s economic inclusion and empowerment.

 

“Fundamentally, we believe that investing in women is a smart development policy and it is a smart business,” Trump said after sampling coffee at a traditional Ethiopian ceremony. “It’s also in our security interest, because women, when we’re empowered, foster peace and stability.”

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump smiles at Azalech Tesfaye, who is the recipient of loan guarantee through USAID, as Trump meets women who work in the Ethiopian coffee industry, Sunday Apr. 14, 2019.
White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump smiles at Azalech Tesfaye, who is the recipient of loan guarantee through USAID, as Trump meets women who work in the Ethiopian coffee industry, Sunday Apr. 14, 2019. VOA

Trump also laid a wreath at an Ethiopian Orthodox church to honor the victims of last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board.

It was not immediately clear if the controversy that surrounds the U.S. president will follow his daughter to Africa. The president has not been kind in his remarks about Africa and its migrants. (VOA)