‘Other-Gender’ in India: An Analysis of 2011 Census Data

Chaitali Mandal, Paramita Debnath


In spite of human rights protection given to the “other-gender” population (transgender) worldwide, they still constitute a deserted community which faces a significant occupational challenges around the world. In India, the other-gender community encompasses individuals with a variety of gender identities forming a culturally unique gender group. Although they have always remained an integral part of the society from the very ancient time, unfortunately their existence is grappling with abject poverty, illiteracy, hatred and mockery. Such stigmatisation and segregation from society have left them to compromise with the employment opportunities available. This paper used the data on ‘other-gender’ released by Census of India for the first time. The 2011 Indian Census reported approximately 4,87,803 individuals belonging to the other-gender category in the country. This data demonstrate that the other-gender community exhibits lower level of literacy and labour force participation when compared with the general population. In this paper, we endeavour to conceptualize these findings and engage in a discussion of the inherent limitations of the data.

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