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Kerala first India state to unveil transgender policy

Kerala first India state to unveil transgender policy

Transgender women in Delhi.

Kerala state on Thursday (12 November) unveiled a new policy to end discrimination and societal stigma against transgender people.

It is the first state to announce such a policy since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in April last year, which recognized transgender people as a third sex and ordered central and state governments to uphold their constitutional rights.

Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson handed a copy of the policy to a transgender activist at the first International Conference on Gender Equality, which was held in the state.

‘This is a watershed (moment), a very important event,’ he said.

‘For a long time, transgenders have not received their due in the state’s developmental framework. I understand from the Gender Park that we may be the first state in the country to have a rights-based policy on transgenders.’

The policy calls for the creation of transgender justice board, and educational institutions, law enforcement and hospitals will be required to address the needs of transgender residents.

It envisions a ‘just society, where men, women and TGs have equal rights to access development opportunities, resources and benefits; the right to live with dignity and enjoy a life free of violence; right to freedom of expression and right to equal voice and participation in key development decisions that shape their lives, communities and the State.’