Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Sunset

The year is almost done. The 2020 Campaign ended two weeks ago, and I have postponed writing this blogpost for exactly that time. 

When we closed in 2018, it was with a clear sense that we would not be back. It was getting too hard. But then, after more than a century of campaigning by women around the world, violence remains a reality in all our lives. And with the pandemic bringing on a very predictable spike in the incidence of sexual and gender-based violence of all types, there was no way we could sit this one out or pretend we had gone out of the conversation-starting business.

So we returned to organise a solid, all-digital campaign focused on hard conversations and resource creation. With slim pickings after people had given so generously to pandemic/ lockdown relief, and no Campaign Associate even after two rounds of searches, we decided to do this by ourselves, as simply as we could, sharing the work. 

So, the Prajnya Core Team pulled together--Nandhini, Shakthi, Sudaroli and Swarna--with help from Pozhil. We drew in our friends--notably, Ramki, Srilata and Hemant--and drew on their resources. And somehow, we have pulled off one of our most solid campaigns. (Yes, I know I say that every time, but we really seem to get better at this!)

I want to thank everyone on the team, and I want to thank our dear friends--those who helped organise and those who participated, for working with us. New friends and partners, we will continue to build on our campaign work with you. 

It is now fairly clear we are unlikely to disappear, so this year, I will close more simply with: see you during the next Campaign season. Thank you and take care! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Friday, December 11, 2020

Here's To My Feminist Experience With Prajnya!

     
    Hello everyone! I’m Meghna Menon, a volunteer at Prajnya since July 2020. I’m currently pursuing my B.A. in Social Sciences from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad. I remember coming across the work Prajnya does numerous times in the past few years. To sit on the other side today, with a hard-working team that has been patient enough to guide me in every possible way, is a privilege.

    The 2020 Prajnya 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence was a wonderful learning experience. Sixteen days flew by in the blink of an eye. As someone keenly interested in understanding the feminist movement better, it was illuminating to have various eminent individuals engage in important discourses. My exposure to conversations centring the experiences of marginalised and intersecting identities put me through multiple moments of epiphany. If you were to ask me why I enjoyed volunteering with Prajnya for the 16 Days Campaign, it was for this reason - that I could reflect on the shortcomings of my activism and do better as an ally. 
    It’s nothing short of a feat to have put together a digital campaign in the middle of a pandemic, and I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to pitch in whenever and wherever I could. Here’s to my first volunteering experience with Prajnya’s 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence and here’s to many, many more. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

பாலியல், சாத்திய வன்முறை - இறுகிய பிணைப்பு : கருத்துரை பற்றிய எனது பார்வை

பாலியல், சாத்திய வன்முறை - இறுகிய பிணைப்பு :
கருத்துரை பற்றிய எனது பார்வை

-- சுடரொளி


சாதியும், பாலிய வன்முறையும் - இது ஒரு பரவலான பொதுவான தலைப்பு! ‘இதில்

என்ன பேசிவிட போகிறார்கள் புதிதாய்!’ என்று எண்ணுவோரின் கவனத்திறகே இந்த

பதிவு.









x

 இதோ இந்த பேச்சாளர்கள், ஒவ்வொருவரும், கருத்துரையை கேட்டவர் அனைவர் மனங்களையும், தங்கள் பேச்சால் அசைத்து விட்டு சென்றனர் எனலாம். ஒருவர் தான் அறிந்ததை பேசுவதற்கும், ஒருவர் தான் அனுபவித்ததை சமூக பார்வையோடு சேர்ந்து பேசுவதற்கும் வேறுபாடு உள்ளது.  சாதிய சமூக பார்வையால் தனக்கு ஏற்பட்ட அனுபவங்களை (அவமானங்களை), ஒவ்வொருவரும் பேசும் போது, அவர்களின் கோபம்,  ஒரு சமூகத்தின் கோபமாய் கேட்போர் மனதில் நீங்கா ஒரு வலியை உணர வைக்கிறது என்பதை இந்த கருத்துரை எப்படி என்னை வெகுவாக பாதித்தது என்பதை கொண்டு உணர முடிகிறது. 


பொதுவாக, பெரும்பாலும் திருமண  அல்லது இல்ல விசேஷ அழைப்பிதழ்களில் தங்கள் பெயர்களின் பின்னால் சாதி பெயரை போட்டு கொள்வதுண்டு. நாங்கள் இந்த சாதியை சேர்ந்தவர்கள் என்று பெருமையாக சொல்லி கொள்வதாய் எனக்குப்பட்டதுண்டு. பேச்சாளர்கள் தங்களை இழிவுப்படுத்தும் நோக்கத்துடன் தனது சாதி பெயரை பொதுவெளியில்  பிறர் உச்சரித்து சுட்டும் போது, ஏற்படும் வலி, கோப கனலாய் அவர்களின் பேச்சில்  கொப்பளைப்பதை உணர முடிகிறது. கவிஞர் சுகிர்தராணி கூறும் போது, தான் சமூகத்தில் நல்ல நிலையில் இருந்தாலும், அவர் ஊரில்  ‘நீ சேரி சுப்ரமணியனின் பெண் தானே’  என்று தன்னை அடையாளம் அறிவதை கூறும் போதும், அதே போன்ற அனுபவத்தை சாலின் தோழரும் பகிர்ந்தார். அவரின் கல்லூரி காலத்தில், ‘நீ சேரி பொண்ணு தானே’ என்று கூறியதால், தான் தாழ்வு மனப்பான்மையால் ரொம்ப பாதிக்கப்பட்டதாக குறிப்பிட்டார். இதையெல்லாம் கேட்கும் போது, எவ்வளவு சாதிய அழுக்குகளை நம் சமூகம் சுமந்து கொண்டுள்ளது என்பதை நம்மால் உணர முடிகிறது.


ஊடகத்தை பற்றி குறிப்படும் போது, பாலினம் என்பதையும் தாண்டி சாதிய பாகுபாடு எவ்வாறு அங்கு வேரூண்டி உள்ளது என்பதை அறிய முடிந்தது. தலித்திய செய்திகளை கொணர்வதற்கு, தலித்தான தன்னை தேர்ந்தெடுத்ததாக தோழர் பிரியதர்ஷிணி குறிப்பிட்டார்.  திறமை மிக்க அவர் பிற செய்திகளை கையாள்வதற்கு தேர்ந்தெடுக்கப்பட வில்லை என்பது மிகவும் வருத்தப்படக் கூடிய விஷயமே! தோழர் கவின் மலர் குறிப்பிடும் போது, ஊடகத்தில் பெண் என்றால் சமையல் குறிப்பு போன்ற assignment தான் கொடுப்பார்கள். எடுத்துக்காட்டாக ஒரு பெண் நிருபர், ஒரு தலித் பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவர் அவமதிக்கப்பட்டு, கொலை மிரட்டலுக்கு உள்ளாக்கப்பட்டதை ஒரு செய்தியாக கொணர்ந்த போது, அதை எடுத்துக் கொள்ளாமல், ‘நீங்கள் சமையல் குறிப்பு எழுதி கொண்டு வாருங்கள்’ என்று அவமதிக்கப்பட்டார். இது போன்ற பாலினம் மீதான சாதிய வன்மம் தவிர்க்க இயலாது, ஊடகம் எங்கும் நிரம்பி வழிவதை பல்வேறு நிகழ்வுகளை கொண்டு விளக்கும் போது, அந்த நிதர்சனம் நெத்தி பொட்டில் அறைந்தது போன்று இருந்தது. 


பாலியல் வன்முறை என்பது எல்லா பெண்களுக்கும் ஒரே மாதிரியான நிகழ்வாய் இருப்பதில்லை என்பதும் நமது பேச்சாளர்கள் அனைவரும் சுட்டி காட்டிய உண்மை. தலித் பெண் என்றால், அவள் உடல் மீது அதீத வன்முறையை நிகழ்த்தி இந்த சமூகம் தனது சாதிய கோர முகத்தை காண்பிக்கின்றது. ஆசிபாவில் தொடங்கி, நம்மூர் நந்தினி வரை அனைத்து தலித் பெண்களுக்கும் இது நிகழ்ந்துள்ளது. ஹத்ராஸ் வன்புணர்வின் சாதிய கொடூரத்தை பற்றி பேசினால், ‘இது எல்லா பெண்களுக்கும் நிகழும் பாலிய பிரச்சனை தானே! அதற்கு ஏன் சாதிய பூச்சு பூசுகிறீர்கள்?’ என்றே பலரின் நிலைப்பாடாக இருக்கிறது. தலித் பெண் வன்புணர்வு செய்யப்பட்டால், அவளின் சாதிய அடையாளத்தை ஊடகம் வெளியிடுவதை  மிகவும் இயல்பானதாக கொண்டுள்ளது.  சிலர், தன்னுடைய தலித்திய அடையாளத்தை வெளிப்படுத்துவதுக்கு கூட தயங்குவதும் இங்கு குறிப்பிடத்தக்கதாக நமது பேச்சாளர்கள் குறிப்பிட்டார்கள். பெண்கள் என்றாலே வெளிர் நிறத்தில் இருப்பவர்களுக்கே வாய்ப்புகள், காட்சி ஊடகத்தில் கிட்டும் என்று ஊடக அரசியலை நம் முன் படம் பிடித்து காட்டினர் நமது பேச்சாளர்கள். 


அரசாங்க அமைப்பு மட்டுமல்லாது, இதர அமைப்புகளிலும் தலித்திய பிரநித்துவம் மிகவும் குறைவு என்பதும் நாம் ஒத்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டிய விஷயம். முடிவுகளை எடுக்க கூடிய பதவிகளிலும் தலித் பிரதிநிதத்துவம் குறைந்தே காணப்படுகிறது. அனைத்து பேச்சாளர்களும் கூறிய விசயம் என்னவென்றால், தலித்திய பிரதிநிதத்துவத்தை அனைத்து துறையிலும் அதிகரிக்க வேண்டும், என்பதும் பாகுபாடற்ற சூழலை உருவாக்க கூடிய ஒரு நிலைப்பாடாவே பார்க்க வேண்டியதுள்ளது.  


தனது வலி, அனைத்து தலித் பெண்களுக்குமான வலி அதனை இலக்கியமாக வெளிப்படுத்துவது, தலித் பெண்களின் வலியினை உலகுக்கு தெரியப்படுத்துவதே என்று தலித் இலக்கியத்தை பரவலாக்கி, அனைவரையும் அரசியல்படுத்த வேண்டும் என்று தோழர் சுகிர்தராணி கூறியது முற்றிலுமான உண்மை. இந்த வலியை ஏற்படுத்துவர்களை பற்றியும்,ஏன் இவ்வாறு நடக்கிறார்கள் என்பதை தலித் அல்லாத ஏனையோர் எழுதுவது அவசியம் என்றும் கவின் தோழர் குறிப்பட்டது, அவர்களின் வலியில் இருந்து பார்க்கும் போது சரியென்றே தோன்றுகிறது.


அனைத்து பேச்சாளர்கள் கூறியது போல, அனைவரையும் இந்த விசயத்தில் அரசியல்படுத்த வேண்டும் என்பதே இதற்கான தீர்வாக இருக்க முடியும். இதையெல்லாம் தாண்டி, தலித்தை தீண்டாத இந்த சமூகம், ஏன் தலித்தின் உடலை மட்டும் வன்புணர்ந்து, தீண்டுகிறது. ’அப்பொழுது எங்கே போனது இந்த சாதிய தீண்டாமை?’ என்று கருத்துரையில் பேச்சாளர் கேட்ட கேள்வி மனதில் தொக்கி, என்னை உணர்வு பிழம்பாக்குகிறது என்பதை மறுக்க இயலவில்லை.

Day 16: Four Good Words: Verse by Women

On Human Rights Day, the last day of the 2020 Prajnya 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence, we pay homage to the core values of the Indian Constitution with poetry. Nineteen poets, all women, have contributed videos to this day-long observance, reading poems that celebrate directly or implicitly, these FOUR GOOD WORDS: justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. 

Before anything else, we must thank Srilata Krishnan, who agreed with alacrity and then invested wholeheartedly in the process of identifying, inviting and following up with poets. She was completely present during the entire process, from ideation to uploading the videos and planning the communication strategy. Srilata has been a part of every Prajnya campaign since the very first one, and we do not plan anything-poetry without her. She really is a part of Prajnya! 

Enjoy the videos: 

  1. Anannya Das Gupta             https://youtu.be/TDqQAKMI77I
  2. Anju Makhija             https://youtu.be/u3oqVrtjL1c
  3. K. Bala                https://youtu.be/dZ6G3vFCCYo
  4. Gayatri Majumdar             https://youtu.be/IJJO6WN94JM
  5. Menka Shivdasani             https://youtu.be/bBeRZoM51fs
  6. Nandini Sahu             https://youtu.be/pWT-K9p7e7Q
  7. Kutti Revathi             https://youtu.be/jDKy_vEUs9s
  8. Rizio Yohannan             https://youtu.be/T3VG6SL0CW4
  9. Sampurna Chattarjee             https://youtu.be/Nc7lJkxoSPs
  10. Sarita Jenamani             https://youtu.be/uUsmrjagY0Y
  11. Shobhana Kumar             https://youtu.be/JMhc8iFpfSo
  12. K Srilata             https://youtu.be/Cs4McuaRRuc
  13. Sukrita Paul Kumar             https://youtu.be/BY3W7gaJWDo
  14. Swarna Rajagopalan             https://youtu.be/fC4Qh_DI5cE
  15. Tishani Doshi             https://youtu.be/lcf_7OLCNDk
  16. Vasanthi Swetha              https://youtu.be/Gs2DU_JHa0M
  17. Vatsala             https://youtu.be/F3oMeWQuDTc
  18. Vinita Agrawal             https://youtu.be/W0JaZltYQ90
  19. Sivakami Velliangiri             https://youtu.be/IIC3mxl9u80

Here is a link to the Four Good Words playlist on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Day 15: The Blue Pencil Workshop | @NWM_India , @ranjim & @rgmlk

    On the 15th day of the 2020 Prajnya 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence, we organised The Blue Pencil Workshop, a partnership with Network of Women In Media, India, conducted by Ragamalika Karthikeyan and Ranjitha Gunasekaran.

The online workshop focussed on how one should report gender based violence sensitively. Here are a few points that were discussed in detail during the workshop:


Ragamalika Karthikeyan:

  • "Violence happens against cisgender women, children, LGBTIQ+ people and those who dont follow the gender stereotypes and manifests in various forms."
  • "Why should we, as journalists, cover GBV? The answer is obvious; because it is a symptom of an unhealthy society. So, we have a duty to cover the discrimination that exists in the society since it is concerning human rights."
  • "When we say 'covering GBV', what does it mean? The most basic thing that comes to mind is reporting instances, reporting that rape happened, or a person was sexually abused or that a person faced workplace sexual harassment. But, it is not enough to say something has happened. That the Hathras rape has happened or the Jyoti Singh rape happened. It is important to look at the causes, why it is happening, what the larger context is - especially, the caste or the gender context."
  • "One must avoid describing graphic violence.....because it adds to the dehumanising of the marginalised people. For you and me, it can be a story happening somewhere to somebody. But, the person you are writing about- their family, friends and the community are going to be triggered for a very long time. And, by describing the graphic violence, you're adding another layer of trauma to what they are already going through."
  • "When we report about LGBTQ+ people, often, we don't talk about rights, about people protesting for their rights or what is it that they want in their policies. We only talk about violent crimes or celebration, parades and colours, which is condescending."

Ranjitha Gunasekaran:
  • "Reporting GBV is essential because there is a differential access to resources and opportunities. A person, because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, loses out on going to school, is fed less food, or their study time is spent doing household chores, and often, a reduced access to economic opportunities."
  • "Often, people go by the police version of an incident. But, we often forget that the cops are humans, too and they carry the same biases as everyone else in the society. They reproduce the violence in a lot of subtle forms. So, it is important to reach out to the community. It is not a bias if one questions the version of the cops. It is upholding the truth to mention context and to know that authorities tell lies."
  • "The only way to put pressure on a system to ensure it works is to track the system."


    The discussion looked into various reportages Ragamalika Karthikeyan and Ranjitha Gunasekaran had come across. They mentioned that it was necessary to find a story in the process of reporting. The workshop also looked into discussing child sexual abuse and ways to report the same. Multiple questions concerning how one should report incidents of violence concerning LGBTQ+ folks and non-binary individuals came up. Ragamalika responded by saying that one should be aware of the terminologies used, especially for queer and non-binary folks. The reporting has to be done in a language that is not condescending and does not disregard their lived experiences. 


You can find the The Blue Pencil: Reporting gender based violence sensitively: Resources for journalists here.


Day 14: பாலியல், சாதிய வன்முறை - இறுகிய பிணைப்பு (கருத்துரையாடல்)



We have long wanted to organise programmes around the caste-gender violence connection but each time, our programme has run into problems and shifted shape. This year, we struck gold. We reached all the speakers we wanted, we were able to give them ample time and we were rewarded with a conversation so rich, it is impossible to summarise and must just be experienced. 

Our brilliant speakers were: 

  • Shalin Maria Lawrence, Writer and activist
  • Priyadharshini, Founder, The Blue Club
  • Priya, People's Watch
  • Sukirtha Rani, Poet and writer
  • Kavin Malar, Journalist
  • Vincent Kathir, Director, Evidence

Narmadha, Activist, facilitated the discussion.
We will be placing the video in its entirety on YouTube, as well as individual presentation clips. But in the interim, we urge you to watch the video as we live-streamed it on Facebook


Day 13: Friends@Prajnya Twitter Takeover: "GBV and COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and Beyond" || @sharasekaram

      On December 7th, 2020, from 6 PM to 8 PM, we had Sharanya Sekaram (@sharasekaram), feminist writer and activist, tweet about "GBV and COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and Beyond":


Hi everyone! @sharasekaram here & excited to be a part of  this #16Days Twitter Takeover. I am coming at you from #lka #SriLanka & will be talking about #GBV in the context of #COVID19 & impacts. Let me begin by telling you about myself and the work I do #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:00PM)



I identify as a feminist writer, researcher, and activist based in #lka #SriLanka and work primarily as an independent consultant in the gender space. I am deeply passionate about the democratization of information and resources, as well as access to networks and spaces. (07/12/2020, 6:00PM)

I currently work with some incredible feminist & gender-focused organizations including @COFEM_EVAW, @voicesamplified, @Bakamoonolk & #EverystorySL which is a feminist storytelling collective @widya_kum & I co-founded in 2018 (07/12/2020, 6:00PM)

Over the majority of this year - during the #COVID19 pandemic - a great deal of my work has involved hearing from women & girls on the ground, both in Sri Lanka and globally about specific impacts and struggles they are facing due to the pandemic (07/12/2020, 6:00PM)

Over some Twitter threads today I hope to be able to share with you what we have learned, the impacts of #GBV during #COVID19 on women and girls, and what their demands & needs are #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:00PM)


One of the biggest issues that women & girls are facing during #COVID19 is a drastic rise in domestic and intimate partner violence. For example, in Europe WHO reports a 60% increase in calls from women seeking help since lockdown measures #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:33PM)

In Singapore, IPV related calls have surged by 33% and in Argentina, a 25% increase This list goes on to include: Australia, Belgium, China, El Salvador, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Palestine, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, and Italy. #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:33PM)

Many people I interviewed also reported a huge increase in the reports on child rape, sexual abuse, early & forced marriage, & other forms of GBV. Women and girls had a lack of safe spaces & privacy within their own homes, increasing their risk #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:33PM)

Strong critiques were made of donors who failed to prioritize GBV programs or services for victims during this time, as they were not perceived as vital. Much of the funding was directed towards health services, failing to see the linkages between #COVID19 & increased #GBV (07/12/2020, 6:33PM)

The issue was not a lack of funding alone. Interviewees noted that many service providers & donors struggled with technical skills to establish new services in the context of COVID-19, further complicated by the police & military who were deployed not taking GBV seriously (07/12/2020, 6:33PM)

Organizations working for women's rights across the globe have raised this & especially noted the struggle to provide services in low and no-tech settings as the most vulnerable women & girls in this situation also face limited digital access. (07/12/2020, 6:33PM)



GBV has been termed the ‘shadow pandemic’. Often, the urgency to secure physical safety can mean that the long term damaging impact of violence on mental health is overlooked and left unaddressed #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:39PM)

@swarraj: I may not be seeing all your tweets, but I wanted to ask: Sri Lanka had a the best regional track record for basic service delivery, until at least the 80s. Has that foundation helped in coping with the pandemic? (07/12/2020, 7:22PM)

@prajnya: Thanks Swarna - great question! Doesn't seem to have - activists & service providers have notice a decline in this and in fact during the first lockdown it was nurses from hospitals who indicated the scale of GBV issues (07/12/2020, 7:33PM)

@prajnya: Currently we are also seeing a huge increase in cyber-violence cases with perpetrators openly talking about lack of consequences since the police are "busy" with COVID 19 management  (07/12/2020, 7:34PM)

@swarraj: Related, is this foundation reflected in SRHR indicators? Also thinking of @LakiJay88's work relating to menstrual health and #GBV(07/12/2020, 7:24PM)

@prajnya: Lakmini I'm sure will have some excellent insights but also wanted to note that SRHR service provision & delivery is also very much tied to married, cis-gendered, heterosexual women and very little consideration to intersectional and marginalized identities (07/12/2020, 7:36PM)

@swarraj: Surely. And this is probably true of all services. (07/12/2020, 7:42PM) 


The mental health impact of COVID-19 extends beyond the effect of experiencing or witnessing GBV. GBV practitioners recount the painful experiences of mothers suffering from #COVID19 who had to leave children alone in unsafe conditions while they recovered #prajnya16days #nosgbv (07/12/2020, 6:39PM)

Often, as the primary caregiver, women toiled on despite feeling unwell and took on the additional burden of caring for sick children and elderly family members. Even after recovering, the disease leaves indelible scars on the psyche of those who went through it. (07/12/2020, 6:39PM)



With lockdowns and closure of what are deemed to be “non-emergency or essential” services during the pandemic, increasing numbers of women found themselves unable to access courts, human rights commissions, law enforcement, and other agencies when facing various forms of GBV. (07/12/2020, 7:31PM)

In some countries, it is not acceptable for women to self-isolate without male relatives and denied travel permission to move to other areas. In other cases, women struggle to apply for travel permission citing issues of GBV to move away from abusive homes and into safer spaces (07/12/2020, 7:31PM)

People I spoke to also described the struggle faced by refugees and returnees from conflict-affected areas needing to register their identities in order to access other services provided by the government and NGO’s. They often are unaware of the procedures and are left behind (07/12/2020, 7:31PM)

Women are facing violations of their human rights, & during the pandemic, it is more difficult than ever for them to access justice. The most vulnerable are those who are least considered by Governments in their policies and planning, and these are all too often women and girls (07/12/2020, 7:31PM)



Women are at the core of the fight against COVID-19. They form the bulk of the health community which puts them at high risk of infection, disproportionately bear the additional care burdens associated with COVID-19 containment measures (07/12/2020, 8:00PM)

They tend to be in informal sector jobs that disappear during crises. They are struggling to access justice, dealing with huge amounts of unpaid care work and more. Their voices are stifled & gendered challenges erased with phrases like "COVID doesn't discriminate" (07/12/2020, 8:00PM)

What does the post COVID-19 world hold for the women’s movement and what can we learn from women’s experiences in the fight against this virus? How do we hear them & work on integrating their needs? #COVID19 may not discriminate but we certainly do, and this is amplified (07/12/2020, 8:00PM)

And that’s it from me for now! It has been amazing getting to share my learnings & insights from this work with you – and I hope you learned something as well! Message me @sharasekaram with any thoughts and questions after today and I will be happy to respond! (07/12/2020, 8:00PM)

Day 13: Friends@Prajnya Twitter Takeover: "Gender-Based Violence Against Transgender Persons" || @kanmanisays

     On December 7th, 2020, from 4 PM to 6 PM, we had Kanmani Ray LR (@kanmanisays), trans activist and organiser, tweet about "Gender-Based Violence Against Transgender Persons":


Hello everyone, this is @kanmanisays taking over. Will be tweeting on gender-based violence against transgender persons now until 6 pm today. I am a law student & my focus will be on criminal law specifically. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:09PM)

Tbh, let's start with the very basic of criminal law- Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sections 8 & 10 of IPC, still use pronouns 'he', words - 'man' & 'woman' &  'person' still means 'company/ association'. Some of this has already been said before. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:16PM)


 

Especially yesterday by Dr. @mrinalsatish as part of @CLPRtrust's TransForm Conference on youtube as well by many others. However why is this important? #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:19PM)

Because- trans persons don't get covered as victims & hence no legal protection u/ IPC. What does that mean-- trans persons can't file an FIR in case of facing sexual violence or claim any protection/affirmative action/available to cis women survivors. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:23PM)

This happened in the case of Anamika v UOI 2018 wherein the trans woman faced sexual harassment but the case was closed. A petition was filed in Delhi High Court #nosgbv #prajnya16days @TheLeaflet_in (07/12/2020, 4:30PM)

The police said- the FIR can be filed u/ Sections 354A (i), (ii) & (iv)- it reads as below. Please note that three of the sub-sections don't mention woman as the victim, but the accused has to be clearly a man. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 4:41PM)

 

While every other provision in IPC concerning sexual offences is somehow stuck in the same binary space. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 4:43PM)

Now we have a transgender persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019- however the Act and the notified rules are contradictory & a mess. But what does that have to do with criminal law? #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Who gets to access criminal law is controlled & Gatekeeping by the Act. So while the Act insisted on surgery for binary man/woman gender recognition, the rules after much push back modified it to a lesser medical intervention as necessary. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Which means anyone who is recognised as a 'transgender person' & not as a man/woman, given the earlier tweets in this thread, will not get to access remedies under IPC. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

 The only remedy then remains for anyone who is legally recognised as a transgender person who faces sexual violence is Section 18(d) of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act at the moment. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

 Section 18(d) prescribes a punishment of 6 months to 2 years. This is offensive & outrageous. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. You can check the speech out @CLPRtrust's TransForm Conference here: https://t.co/gnK28MRyRj?amp=1 (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Anyone who knows of criminal law would tell you this- that an offence whose maximum punishment is 2 years is often a 'Bailable offence', which means the bail is a matter of right for the accused person, not a matter of discretion left w/ the court. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

Which means any kind of 'sexual abuse'  faced by a trans person is not as serious, is not equal or on the same footing as any other sexual offence which currently protects cisgender women and not us. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

also means, there is higher incentive for accused person to be out of jail despite being accused of sexual abuse of a trans person, which also means greater danger for the victims who are trans persons even if we come forward to file an FIR. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:19PM)

This should be seen in the context of the criminal law reforms post 2013. We now have a range of victim protection provisions including the fact that cis women cannot be arrested post sunset or without a woman police person present etc. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020: 5:19PM)

Section 18(d), is a CutCopypaste from Section 3(a) of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. A provision in the context of a civil remedy law to define 'domestic violence' is being imposed in this Act to create criminal remedy. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:20PM)


It's interesting because the Act never specifies that this 18(d) is only in the context of domestic violence. Instead it places the power in the court to place us in rehabilitation centres. #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:20PM)


So while hard fought rights to reside, the right to maintenance, the right to the household has never reached or found place in the Act. #nosgbv #prajnya16days (07/12/2020, 5:20PM)

It's important in this context to recognise how kidnapping (Section 359) is often used by parents of estranged couples on transgender persons (as well on queer persons) #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:31PM)

Anti-begging laws, anti-trafficking laws are used a lot like Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act, especially against trans persons on the streets & trans sex workers. @NNSWIndia #nosgbv #prajnya16days. (07/12/2020, 5:31PM)

Having said all this what is the solution(s) - there are no easy answers either. The criminal law reforms committee is doing consultations literally during a pandemic in a highly inaccessible manner through the internet. https://thenewsminute.com/article/explained-why-union-govt-s-panel-criminal-law-reform-being-opposed-134322 #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:34PM)

This important session hosted by @LiveLawIndia on their YouTube Channel is an important eye opener to the pitfalls & the problems of the criminal law reform committee & why it's process is very wrong! #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:37PM)

Apart from this there is an important @redditindia AMA thread by @Dalit_Swag & @arushigarg90 that's critical to why this undemocratic, opaque criminal reforms committee needs to be questioned & held accountable: #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:43PM)

Apart from this there has been a statement from queer feminists, activists on why this committee is undemocratic, opaque etc: #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:47PM)

The entire idea behind talking on Gender-based violence against transgender persons, around criminal law is to focus on the breadth of work needed to change the situation. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:51PM)

Right from the older colonial laws of IPC,CrPC, Evidence Act, to recent Trans Act, to so-called committee constituted to change criminal law have major problems which from a legal perspective contributes to gender based violence on us, trans persons. #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:51PM)

 

With this I shall end the takeover. Have attempted to give only short snippets & point to larger issues which need discussion. Hope this was informative. Thank you for the opportunity :) #nosgbv #prajnya16days(07/12/2020, 5:57PM)