The word neutral means to be impartial or unbiased. This word when combined with the word gender means that each and every citizen be it male, female or transgender is subject to equal and fair treatment. No one is superior or inferior and in the eyes of the law. Gender neutrality means if a person of any gender commits an act of crime, then the person is accountable to be punished as established in the law without considering the gender of the involved person. But the real question is does India follow the concept of gender neutral criminal laws?
India has a population of approximately 1.3 billion people living in the country. People of all sexes i.e. male, female and transgender live in the country. Still the concept of gender neutral criminal laws in India is hard to find. There are many laws that favour female when compared with male and some laws which favour male over female. Whereas the rights of transgender are overlooked or silent at times.
Need for Gender Neutrality
There is an urgent need of Gender Neutral Society. Equality should be in real terms, not just in our thoughts and books. The liberties which are given to boys by birth, should be the same for girls too. Male or female should become only a matter of words, in our conscious mind both should be same, with equal rights and equal duties. From home to school to workplace, everyone should be treated equal irrespective of their sex. In corporate world, female employees earn less than similarly qualified men employess because of gender bias. But fundamentally, this is against fairness and equality. The overall objective of gender neutrality is a society which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.
Gender neutrality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development , educational attainment and political empowerment. There is a need to make the world a better place for current and future generations. It will only happen when all people are valued as equals that we can really achieve a brighter future, full of ideas and inputs from people across society.
Gender Neutrality- Rights of one, abrogation of another?
The first side is from the perspective of women in India. Women have always been a disadvantaged group who have been exploited from time immemorial, mostly for power.
The second side here is the perspective of men. The topic of the essay is Gender Neutrality, not women empowerment. Therefore, the spotlight is on laws that need to be made gender neutral, not laws that favour one gender. Men have always been seen as perpetrators rather than victims, especially in crimes of sexual nature. But in recent times it has come to notice that even men are victims and face a greater stigma to admit to it.
The third side and the most disadvantaged are the transgender and other members of the LGBT community. Even though their existence has been recognized throughout history, their rights rarely have been. Gender biased laws affect them the most as crimes against them can easily be classified into the category of ‘unnatural sex’ and set aside. Offenses against them aren’t even covered under the ambit of Section 377 of the IPC.