On 5th of August lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill, 2019. The bill stands against the supreme courts judgement for protecting transgender people on the basic pretext of identification. The so called protection bill goes further to disenfranchise the transgender people by diluting the penalties for offences against transgender people.
One of the clauses in the bill states “Whoever harms or injures or endangers the life, safety, health or well-being, whether mental or physical, of a transgender person or tends to do acts including causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine.”
It is unclear what this transgender bill is trying to imply by diluting penalties for offences against transgender people with a max sentence of 2 years, even though it’s labelled as Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill. Endangering the life, safety health or well-being of a person is gender neutral, why is there a need for gender based gradation on such heinous crimes. Is diluting these penalties in this bill, governments way of writing it in our constitution that transgender people are sub-human ?
Rape is the fourth most common crime commited against women. Trans women are women, trans men are forced to experience femininity by the patriarchal society we live in. It is illogical to let sexual offenders of transgender people walk out scot free in 6 months to max 2 years. Whereas the countries law states raping women is punishable by 7 years to a max Life imprisonment.
This Independence day 5 transgender women call out on the parliament for its hypocrisy on so called Transgender Persons “Protection of Rights bill”, 2019
According to Banu “This is a Total Injustice, for women the sentence is minimum 7 years to life imprisonment. I am a women, why can’t I be protected by law as my gender Identity, a women. Trans people face sexual abuse since childhood. If the bill claims to protect us, it should impose stricter punishments”
Nishtha says” A Trans-woman is a woman. A sexual offence against a woman should be death sentence. Then why “imprisonment” for a sexual offence against Trans-woman? People beyond the gender binaries need equal rights and protection.”
Bonita Rajpurohit says “Differentiating the punishment for rapist of Trans-People & Rapists of Cis-People in itself shows the alienating perspective of the government towards Trans Lives. It’s the opposite of inclusion of trans community in the society.”
LGBT people and allies from all over the world are also joining the protest campaign via a #RapeIsRape Facebook profile photo frame available here.