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What is Gender Self Identification? Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 explained

Tulika Tandon

In the article below we will know about the countries that allow gender self-identification and the laws regarding the same in India. This would also include the explanation of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019. Take a look at the tweet below:

Some facts
*Self-identification is about making it easier for trans people to change our birth certificates
*There are no laws in Britain on which facilities people can use
*I’ve used women's loos for years
*I have a female passport
*I don’t have a Gender Recognition Certificate

— Paris Lees (@parislees) March 19, 2018

Gender Self Identification: What has happened?

Recently Spanish Cabinet had approved the Draft Bill that extended the LGBTI rights that bans conversion therapies and makes it easier for the LGBT couples to register as co-parents. It also gives the transgender people access to assisted reproduction. 

The rules would be made easier as decided by Spain. Spain has taken a great step towards gender self identification by approving the first draft. 

The Government of Spain has mentioned in the first draft that it allows the children of 14 years of age to legally change their gender without a medical diagnosis or a hormone therapy. This was informed by the Equality Ministry of Spain. The bill would go for the Public hearing and would then come for  a second reading in the nation's cabinet. 

The Spanish Lower House would have to approve the bill for it to become a law. 

What is required as per rule and what is being changed?

As per the current rule, for anyone to change their sex, one has to go through a hormone therapy and a psychological evaluation for two years. This proposed law would remove the requirements for everyone above 14 years of age. The teenagers between 14-16 would however be required to get approval from their parents. 

What is Gender Self Identification?

Self ID is a concept that a person must be allowed to legally identify with the gender of their choice by just declaring the choice. They need not face any medical tests. This demand was raised by the trans gender people time and again and remains prevalent in India as well. The people are of the view that their Gender Choice must not be imposed upon them and they must get to choose it for themselves without being judged. 

Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act 2019: 

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 19, 2019 by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr Thaawarchand Gehlot. The bill defines a transgender person as someone whose gender does not match the gender assigned at his/her birth. The category includes trans-men, trans- women, people with intersex variations, gender queers and people with socio-cultural identities. 

The Bill also prohibits any unfair treatment to the transgenders in the following areas:

  1. Education
  2. Employment
  3. Healthcare
  4. Access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public
  5. Right to movement
  6. Right to reside, rent, or otherwise occupy property
  7. Opportunity to hold public or private office
  8. Access to a government or private establishment in whose care or custody a transgender person is.

As per the Bill, there would also be a National Council for Transgender Persons (NCT) which would consist of Union Minister for Social Justice (Chairperson), the Minister of State for Social Justice (Vice- Chairperson), Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice,  one representative from ministries including Health, Home Affairs, and Human Resources Development.  

The other members would consist of the representatives of NITI Aayog, and the National Human Rights Commission.  State governments will also be represented in the council.  The Council will also consist of five members from the transgender community and five experts from non-governmental organisations. 

Read| Why was 15th August chosen as the Independence Day for India?

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