NEWS

Transgender Seeks Legal Recognition

Transgender communities in Fiji have welcomed the steps taken during the 16th Attorney-General’s C onference to host a session on ‘Gender Identity and the Law’. Shivana Gowin, a representative of
07 Dec 2014 11:23
Transgender Seeks Legal Recognition
Photo: DEPTFO

Transgender communities in Fiji have welcomed the steps taken during the 16th Attorney-General’s C onference to host a session on ‘Gender Identity and the Law’.

Shivana Gowin, a representative of the Amithi Fiji Project, which works closely with the gay, lesbian and transgender community in the country, was a speaker during this session yesterday.

Ms Gowin, who now identifies herself as a woman who was born a man, spoke about the need for legal recognition of transgender people.

Ms Gowin presented the case why there needs to be more awareness on gender identity and law.

She spoke highly of the modernisation of Fijian laws and the provisions in the Constitution which were not discriminatory but also for the need for more to be done.

“I must say that when the change (in laws against discrimination) was incorporated by the Office of the Attorney- General, we had realised that was victory for the transgender community in Fiji as a whole.

“Transgender people should be legally recognised as having equal rights and dignity, which are and should be protected under the law, with the passage of protective legislation to contribute to a climate of acceptance and equality.

“Transgender people should have the right to legal recognition of their gender identity and the recognition of gender status should not depend on medical treatment or surgical procedures.”

Ms Gowin said legal recognition of  ‘trans people’ means that governments should recognise the gender identity of ‘trans individuals’ who have and have not gone through sex reassignment surgery. The government should accord them the same legal rights as other citizens, she said.

She said legal recognition for transgender people was important as it was a form of protection.

Ms Gowin also pointed out that the Fiji Police Force also needed to do more internally to prepare their officers to deal with transgender people.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 




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