Livelihood, Exclusion and Opportunity: Socio-economic Welfare among Gender and Sexuality Non-normative People in India
This case study explores the socioeconomic experiences of gender and sexuality minority peoples in India, especially in respect of ways in which gender and sexuality ‘difference’ may be correlated to economic hardship and restricted opportunities for livelihood in the context of India’s socioeconomic ‘modernity’. Even as the debate on the compatibility between economic growth and economic redistribution continues, prevalence of gender inequity and contradictions in the legal environment in relation to gender and sexuality non-normativity complicate the scenario further. A plethora of government poverty alleviation programmes notwithstanding, hetero-normative definitions of gender, marriage and family at the policy level, and legal stigma (criminalization) continue to exclude people with non-normative genders and sexualities from economic benefits. Specific community, civil society, donor and government responses to economic exclusion do hold some promise. The case study outlines immediate and long-term recommendations for all stakeholders to ensure large-scale economic inclusion becomes a reality for gender and sexuality non-conforming people in India. The case-study indicates wider implications for international development policy and practice concerning the rights and socio-economic well-being of gender and sexual minority peoples in global context.
Pawan Dhall and Paul Boyce
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