The Delhi Commission for Women or the DCW is one of the many statutory bodies of the Government of Delhi. It is an establishment to investigate and examine all matters relating to the safety and the security of women. This includes the constitution and various other laws in Delhi.
The DCW made part of the constitution in 1994 by the Government of Delhi. This was under the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994. It began functioning in 1996.
The Transgender Cell:
On Monday, 1st June the DCW began a transgender cell. This cell is to look into the complaints of violence, abuse, harassment and discrimination with regard to the LGBTQ+ community. They hope to increase the number of registered cases. This is so they can bring about significant change and furthermore, help the trans community. They also aim to reduce the number of attacks on the trans community.
The roles and responsibility of the cell are taken up after taking multiple inputs from the LGBTQ community, a DCW statement says.
“It pains my heart to see the condition of the transgender as well as the LGBTQ community in our country. The transgender especially is suffering a lot. The Transgender Cell shall focus on the problems faced by the transgender community. It shall also look into complaints of abuse from LGBTQ community,” DCW chief Swati Mailwal said in the statement.
“Even though the Supreme Court has passed a judgment that transgender should be given jobs in the government, the same is yet to be under implementation. Even the Transgender Bill has lapsed in the Parliament. We stand by the community and shall advocate their cause to the fullest both at the policy as well as the ground level.”
In the meeting with DCW Chief Swati Maliwal, held on Saturday, the community members expressed issues and concerns about their safety and security.
Social and Police Apathy:
“They narrated instances of extreme abuse, physical and sexual harassment, violence, discrimination and social stigma faced by them throughout their lives. They also informed that lack of proper healthcare services, harassment by police and immense violation of basic human rights make their lives miserable on a daily basis,” a statement by the DCW said.
For instance, Kajal* gave insight, stating that she was forcibly in a marriage with someone against her wishes. She continues to live in a dual personality.
Naina* gave a narration of a horrific incident. She was gang-raped by three boys in an all-boys school. However, the school authorities did not take any action against the boys. Instead, she was forcefully told to leave the school due to which she was unable to complete her education.
“Almost all members of the community described instances of gruesome discrimination and insensitivity of the police towards the community. The community members informed the commission that the police often refused to register complaints dismissing them as culprits without even hearing them,” the statement says.
Sapna* informs that she was put behind bars more than once without any provision of reasons for the arrest. “Many members of the LGBTQ community were also present in the meeting who narrated several instances where they were asked by the police to strip to prove their sex if they wanted to register a complaint,” the DCW statement continues.
A community-driven cell:
The community suggested that the transgender cell should be under constant guidance by the members of the community. The suggestion, since, has been accepted by the commission. They shall now involve transgender members as well as the LGBTQ community in the functioning of the cell, says the DCW.
During the Mahila Suraksha Padyatra, the commission shared their announcement of opening the transgender cell.