Daily Answer Writing
08 June 2021

Q) What do you mean by social empowerment? Discuss its need in the context of various denials and deprivations which cause the marginalization of the LGBTQIA+  in India. (250 Words)

Source: <https://indianexpress.com/article/india/cure-therapy-ban-to-training-for-police-madras-high-court-reaches-out-to-lgbtq-7348680/>

GS 1: Social empowerment

Approach Answer:

Introduction: Social Empowerment is the process of gaining control over self, ideology, material and knowledge resources, which determine power may be termed empowerment. This leads to the strengthening the capacities of individuals, eliciting their participation in the development process.

             

Dimensions of Social Empowerment:

              • Economic Empowerment: Opportunity to get the right job and hence reduce the incidence of unemployment and under-employment.

              • Educational empowerment: If one knows the rights they enjoy and the duties they serve, it leads to to a decrease in social violence engineered against the deprived section of the society.

              • Poverty Reduction: When people are empowered, they tend to use the knowledge in the right direction.

              • Political Empowerment: People have power to understand the exploitive class and mobilize to achieve certain socio-political aim. This manifests as reduced corruption & Greater representation.

              • Equality: inclusive development of the society, which is more sustainable.

              • World Bank: for ‘the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence control, and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives’.

Thus Social empowerment is a mechanism to overcome denials and deprivations. LGBTQIA+ community is one such community which is socially deprived.

 

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender-Queer,  Inter-sex,  Asexual and other such gender identities and people with sexual orientation which do not conform to two genders.

 

Types of Discriminations faced by LGBTQIA+ community:

              • Legal Challenges: In issues such as Right to marry.

              • Freedom & equality - Often not allowed to maintain the identity; It is seen as an illness that needs to be cured.

              • Economic opportunities: They are denied jobs on the basis of identity.

              • Social Discrimination - such as Untouchability.

              • Abuse, violence and exploitation: Within the family and outside upon disclosure of sexual preference or gender identity.

              • Gendered vocabulary - The words like Hijra are used for shaming.

              • Denial of services: Such as access to health services and education on equal footing.

             

Need for Social Empowerment:

              • Justice: It is immoral to deny a person a right over the body. The principle of fairness and justice demand identification and protection of LGBTQIA+ rights.

              • Poverty reduction: Economically deprived the Hijra community is one of the most poor in India in terms of wealth.

              • Reducing social tensions: The Transgender community in India for example relies heavily on begging and prostitution for survival; This leads to social tensions.

              • Health Factor: The prevalence of epidemics like AIDS is disproportionately high among the LGBTQIA+  community. Around 3.1% transgender are affected by AIDS and homosexuals are 22 times more likely to be infected than the Indian average.

              • Inclusivity: Participation in the Indian growth story. India cannot grow without participation from all sectors.

             

Conclusion: In the recent times there have been many reforms done by the judiciary and legislature to reduce the social deprivations in this regards. A series of Judgment from Naz foundation case(2009), NALSA case(2014) and Right to privacy case(2017) have led to recognition of Identity. Further Transgender persons(Protection of rights) act 2019 as been passed by the parliament.

 

However, more needs to be done at the legislative level to ensure right to marry and at the executive level to ensure empowerment in socio-economic sphere.

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