Official Communications From India WHRC

India WHRC submitted a formal communication to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women listing the harms to women and girls of redefining sex to include “gender identity” in Indian law.

This was in response to The UN CSW's request for public comments that provide detailed information about “violations of human rights that affect the status of women.”

We submitted a summary of information mentioning the fundamental conflation of sex and gender. And the drawbacks of being a multi-lingual country with no two distinct words to refer to the words sex, and gender.

Some of the cases mentioned in our letter:

  • “Had same-sex marriage been allowed in India I would have not undergone sex-change.” CISF Jawan changes sex for love, recognised as male constable after 6 years - Hindustan Times, 05 July, 2017

After an alleged four years of bureaucratic indecisiveness and lack of precedence, she was put through multiple fitness and “gender” tests. She took a loan for a whopping 10 lakhs INR (about $14,000 USD) for surgery and painful (lifelong) hormonal injections.

Spending close to 7 lakhs INR (over $9,000 USD), a woman of a remote village in Orissa underwent a sex change surgery to marry her lesbian partner. On February 4, 2020 the couple married as “heterosexuals.”

  • Bombay High Court allows Transgender person to contest Panchayat election as female from ward reserved for women. Bar and Bench - 05 Jan, 2021

On January 5, 2021, the Bombay High Court allowed a trans-identified male to contest village panchayat (town council) polls as “female” from a ward reserved for women, saying that such persons have the right to a “self-perceived gender identity.” These women-only election slots are allotted on rotational quotas as a form of affirmative action that would benefit the women of a constituency and encourage female participation in politics.

  • Kerala High Court allows transgender woman to join NCC, calls for changes in enrolment criteria. - Hindustan Times, 15 March, 2020

March 15th, the Kerala High Court allowed a trans identified male to join NCC (National Cadet Corps) and called for changes in enrollment criteria. The single bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman (a woman) said the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, recognises a transgender person's right to a self-perceived gender identity. "In view of the specific provisions of the 2019 act, a transgender person has the right to be recognised not only as a transgender but also a right to self-perceived gender, i.e. the female gender," she said.

  • Union Public Service Commission - EXAMINATION NOTICE NO.03/2021-NDA-I DATED 30.12.2020 – clause in the UPSC website

The Union Public Service Commission that conducts national level competitive exams for the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy is riddled with hypocrisy. According to a clause, female and "transgender" candidates are not allowed to take the NDA exam. “Trans women'' whose legal “gender” is still male are eligible. Trans men, however, are neither allowed on the basis of their sex or their "gender identity."

  • Man claims to be transitioning into a woman, seeks quashing of molestation case – The Indian Express December 24, 2019

Asserting that he has gender dysphoria since childhood and identifying himself as a woman before the court, the accused alleged that the relation between him and the complainant was that of two "sisters", so he could not have molested her.

  • “Motherhood is beyond gender,” says Pune’s first transgender mother Gauri Sawant – Hindustan Times MAY 14, 2018

Gauri Sawant, an Indian transgender activist - a trans identified male - who adopted a girl in 2001 and filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India in 2014 for the rights of transgenders to adopt, says this about motherhood: “Motherhood is beyond gender; it is more of a behaviour.” Sawant's adoption wasn’t formally registered under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Summary: The Rules, and the Act, therefore has attempted to create a separate set of legal statuses without an impact assessment for the effects on the rest of society, particularly women. Additionally, it contains a number of provisions that enable the erasure of legal history, and hence misrepresentation, while facilitating unethical experimentation on children. These problems arise because the basis for the recognition of the identity weakens the overall framework of protection.

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