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India recognised third gender much before the youth in West: UK Professor

Sarah Hawkes said that gender inequality was related to wide spectrum like expression and identity and was not just about male and female

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Describing as a global phenomenon, Sarah Hawkes, Professor at the (UCL), said that Indian culture had opened to gender as a non-binary idea much before the Western world.

"The younger generation in the West is understanding this now, while India recognised the much earlier," Prof Hawkes told PTI.

She said that was related to a wide spectrum like expression and identity and was not just about male and female.

Prof Hawkes said that in the United Kingdom, opportunity gaps for men and women in education and employment were reducing with the younger generation understanding that gender was not just a binary idea.

She said that gender equality laws at the workplace were bringing a change as these laws enabled people to hold institutions to account, adding that now laws were needed to make society accountable.

India has a vibrant civil society that could make change happen, she said.

"It is people who bring about change while laws ensure sustainability and accountability. We need to work at the top and the bottom. We need to frame policies and strengthen institutions to support the change and we need people to demand a change," she stressed.

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 17:46 IST