Transgender Rules Issued: No Medical Exam Needed to Declare Desired Sex
The Indian Express, India, 9/30/2020
According to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules issued by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on September 28, 2020, transgender persons who want to declare their desired sex will no longer be required to undergo a medical or physical examination. The draft rules released in July, 2020 had garnered vociferous criticism from the LGBTQIA+ community for “taking away” their dignity by mandating a third person to verify and certify the gender of a person. The centre has also mandated that transgender-sensitive infrastructure such as separate hospital wards and washrooms be created within two years of the rules being notified.
Female Workforce Participation Increased in India During Lockdown: LinkedIn Report
Deccan Herald, India, 9/29/2020
The second edition of LinkedIn ‘Labour Market Update’ report has revealed that female workforce participation increased in India during the Coronavirus-induced lockdown as the number of women hires increased from 30% in April, 2020 to 37% in July, 2020. LinkedIn’s global analysis further showed that while hiring in the developed countries followed a U-shaped trajectory, plummeting in April, 2020 before recovering in June and July, 2020, India bucked the trend in maintaining and increasing gender parity. According to Pei Ying Chua, APAC Lead Economist, Economic Graph team at LinkedIn, the lockdown that promoted flexible working hours provided an opportunity for women to “rebuild their careers and start afresh.”
Most Countries Failing to Address Women’s Needs During Pandemic - UN
Thomson Reuters Foundation - London, UK, 9/28/2020
According to a database of government responses to Covid-19 launched by two UN agencies on September 28, 2020, only one in eight countries worldwide have brought in measures to specifically protect women from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Covid-19 Global Gender Response Tracker’ analyses state responses to the pandemic in 206 countries to assess whether they include measures to tackle violence against women and girls, support unpaid care or boost women’s economic security. The data has revealed that while 71% of all gender-related measures identified focused primarily on preventing violence against women and girls, only 10% aimed at strengthening women’s economic security. Less than a third of the policy measures focused on unpaid care work.
Right Choices, Information Key to Unplanned Births - Popcom
The Manila Times - Philippines, 9/27/2020
The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom), Philippines, stressed on the importance of proper information and right choices to prevent unplanned pregnancies amid a projected population boom in the country because of the Covid-19 pandemic on September 26, 2020, celebrated as World Contraception Day. Juan Antonio Perez 3rd, Popcom’s Executive Director, claimed that there could be at least 214,000 more births than the initially estimated 1.7 million birth deliveries by the end of 2020 as a result of limited access of couples and individuals to family planning services. Perez added that the decision by the Supreme Court of the Philippines on limiting adolescents’ access to family planning programs has affected adolescent birth rates, which made universal access to family planning difficult to accomplish.
PIL in Supreme Court Seeks Equal Protection of Law to Transgender Persons in Sexual Offence Cases
Deccan Herald - New Delhi, India, 9/26/2020
Lawyer Reepak Kansal has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to seek equal protection of law for members of the transgender community against sexual offences. Kansal, in his petition, contended that “in spite of declaring transgender people to be a 'third gender' there is no provision in the Indian Penal Code that may protect them from sexual abuse and violence by any male/female or a transgender person.” The petitioner further said that the court should also direct the Union government to pass an anti-discrimination bill that penalises discrimination and harassment based on gender and ensure implementation of UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights by India as it was a signatory to it.