The Impact of Economic Exclusion on the Constitutionally Guaranteed Entitlements of Economic Justice, Equality of Opportunity and Right to Live with Human Dignity of the Transgenders
Keywords:right to equality, equality of opportunity, economic justice, socio-economic inclusion
Objective: The objective of the paper is to examine and explain how the constitutionally guaranteed entitlements notably the various facets of right to equality, right to life and preambular assurance of justice: social, economic and political will remain unachievable and meaningless for the transgenders till their economic exclusion and marginalisation continues. The present paper shall examine the important aspects of legal provisions and economic policy which can ensure that the constitutional mandates enshrined under Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21 become a reality for transgender through their economic empowerment.
Theoretical Framework: The Constitution of India recognises and rests firmly on the fundamental principles of liberty, equality, fraternity and justice. Transgender people have always been the part of every society, nation and culture since ages but unfortunately their very existence has been negated at every level of society. This marginalised section and highly disadvantaged group has consistently and continuously been subjected to social stigma, discrimination and exclusion from all kinds of socio-economic and political undertakings. The insensitivity and the apathy of the public at large are still the biggest challenges in mainstreaming the transgenders and eliminating all forms of socio-economic exclusion against them. The extreme discrimination and exclusionary practices against the transgender people at every level in the work place, from job rejection to privacy violation and even sexual harassment, disproportionately affects their physical and mental wellbeing. The socio-economic marginalisation and denial of any gainful employment opportunity puts them in depression, pessimism and forces them to engage in unlawful activities and become drug suppliers, sex workers and even low-income entertainers.
Method: The present paper focuses on the constitutionally guaranteed entitlements namely “economic justice” and “equality of opportunity” of the transgender people while taking up the issue of their economic exclusion and marginalisation and intends to explore how the economic exclusion has adverse and severe implications on transgender rights.
Results and Discussion: The cost of economic exclusion of transgender people in India cannot be undermined. Such discrimination and unaccepting environments are capable of psychologically depressing transgender people and adversely affecting their incentive to get training and education. This turns into a vicious circle that translates into low investment in human capital and suboptimal opportunities for them resulting in lower productivity of overall economy.
Conclusion: With very limited employment opportunities, transgender’s education, health and living standard are abysmally low and therefore, in order to achieve the constitutional mandate enshrined under Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21 of the Constitution of India, the objectives of the government should be to allow reasonable participation of most of the transgender population in the national economy.
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