Transgender Women in India face Persistent Bias that Denies them Education and Jobs, says Activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a founder of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network said that most of the transgender people in India face discrimination and that too from a young age.

A group of transgenders. Source: Wikimedia

Mumbai, December 6, 2016: In India, Transgender face discrimination that often does not allow them proper education or jobs despite India has progressive laws for the transgender people, a leading activist said.

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According to Reuters, “In a landmark judgment in 2014, India’s Supreme Court ruled that transgender people had equal rights under the law, and granted legal status to the third gender. Alongside the right to marry and inherit property, they are also eligible for quotas in jobs and educational institutions.”

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a founder of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network said that most of the transgender people in India face discrimination and that too from a young age. Transgender women are particularly abused in the country where patriarchy is deep rooted.
She said, “Many transgender people are thrown out of their homes by their families, lack a formal education and are denied jobs. They are forced into sex work, begging or dancing at weddings to make a living.”

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“We have among the most progressive laws for transgender people: the 2014 judgment gives us the right to choose our gender identity, so if I believe I’m a woman, I’m a woman,” Laxmi said at a panel hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Asia Society on Monday.

“But people are still biased. That’s why no one will hire us, except in the non-profit sector, and we have no choice but to beg or do sex work.”

Laxmi who was born into an orthodox Brahmin family became one of the most well-known advocates for the transgender people.

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Transgender women who are known as ‘hijras’ are considered really auspicious in India. In fact, they are also featured in the Hindu mythology, and at weddings and childbirths their blessings are sought. But, then abuse and exploitation of Transgender people in the very same country are also common.

by NewsGram team with inputs from Reuters