Census might ask "do you menstruate?" rather than "are you female?"

New Delhi: 

The census could ask people a different set of questions which are not in sync with the traditional questionnaire regarding gender determination. 

The census could ask “do you menstruate?” instead of “are you female?” as a way of showing inclusiveness towards the transgender people.

A study led by the King’s College London, ‘The Future of Legal Gender Project’ has tried to assess how would sex abolish in Wales and England. It will be replaced by a single gender category for the sake of policy discussions. 

The study that costed 579,717 Euros was sanctioned from the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC). The research involved around 4 years of interviews with 200 charity workers, civil servants, lawyers, government officials, and the public. The research is meant to solidify ‘gender-neutral laws’.

The lead researcher Prof Davina Cooper said that the study is aimed to explore implications of reforming, in a British legal context, how sex and gender are treated in law. 

Professor Davina Cooper, who led the project, said: “Our aim was to explore the implications of reforming, in a British legal context, how sex and gender are treated in law. We take for granted that people have a legal sex and gender but is this something to hold onto? The project sought to encourage reflections on something that has long been taken for granted. While the current time may not be right for reform, its discussion is important.

She raised concerns regarding the classification of an individual in a particular gender pool. She outlined the importance of defining gender for an individual to lead a life based on that foundation.

She further said, “we live at a time of ongoing inequalities and violence based on gender. Does having a legal sex and gender help to address these inequalities and violence? Does it reinforce the notion that the sex a person is registered with at birth is important in shaping the life they ought to lead? Can government tackle inequality without fixing and defining people’s membership in a category?”

She also said that there is legal sex but an absence of legal sexual orientation.

She continued, “We have a legal sex but not a legal sexual orientation or race, for instance, yet British equality law addresses these inequalities too.  Our project explored and tackled some of the challenges that reforming law’s use of social categories poses.”


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