Consultation | Policy Brief on Reservations for Transgender Persons | Preliminary findings on Intersectionality Report

November 29, 2018 | J. Mandakini

On 21.11.2018, the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bengaluru organised a one-day consultation with the transgender community, civil society organisations and activists. The consultation was organised into two sessions:


Session I – Policy Brief on Reservation for Transgender Persons


In NALSA v Union of India, the Supreme Court directed the Central and State Governments to provide for reservations for transgender persons in public employment and education. However, it did not set out a discrete method of implementation for this policy. CLPR’s policy brief explores options and suggests an optimal way forward to this end.


Jayna Kothari presented the draft policy brief. She addressed two issues:


  1. Horizontal versus Vertical Reservation


NALSA recommended a vertical reservation in the following manner:


However, this method ignores the caste identity of a transgender person, and its impact within the transgender community. CLPR’s proposal for reservations for transgender persons is represented by the matrix below:


       2. Identification of Transgender Beneficiaries


NALSA recognized the right of transgender persons to self-identify their gender. CLPR’s draft policy brief recommends a central statute governing any reservation for transgender persons, and the quotas that may be allocated to it. It also recommends that the statute issue transgender identification cards, in accordance with guidelines and principles established by it.


There was a vigorous discussion on the various proposals and analyses in the draft policy brief. The final policy brief is scheduled to be released in December this year.


Session II – Draft findings of intersectionality research


CLPR conducted a qualitative and quantitative study, in the form of interviews and surveys, respectively across the four South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The study focuses on caste discrimination faced by women, transgender persons, and persons with disabilities. A preliminary report was presented by J. Mandakini and Saumya Dadoo. A pdf file of the preliminary findings can be accessed in the “Resources” section of this post.


Qualitative interviews with women from Scheduled Castes (SC)/Scheduled Tribes (ST) revealed that they were treated differently, on the basis of their socio-economic status. They were also victims of paternalistic attitudes of male members of the SC/ST community. CLPR also found that the prospect of marriage affects SC/ST men and women with disability differently.


A key finding of the quantitative research was that only 37% of SC/ST persons with disabilities had received formal education until primary classes, of which only 10% were cisgender women. This is indicative of differential treatment on the basis of gender identity within SC/ST persons with disability. CLPR also studied differential treatment within the same caste group. Most SC/ST women, men with disabilities, and transgender persons attributed it to their gender, disability, and gender identity, respectively. This provides evidence of discrimination occurring within the same caste group.


CLPR witnessed wide-ranging discussions on these issues. A more concrete draft of the findings is scheduled to be released by December 2018.

J. Mandakini

Research Associate

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