Health impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experiences of the trans-feminine community from Delhi, India

Ankita Chakrabarti, Jawaharlal Nehru University

The repercussion of this bio-medical disaster can be seen immediately and expected to have more profound social and economic ramifications in the future. Quantitatively and qualitatively, gender minority groups are excluded from the socio-economic and political processes because of the identity that attributed to them the unique features and legitimised their exclusion from the ‘mainstream’. The transgender community is now being pushed into further uncertainty due to the unprecedented lockdown that has a differential and disproportionate impact on men, women and other genders. The study interviews eleven transgender women who identify themselves as hijra/kinnar and are involved in sex work, regarding the challenges that they faced during the pandemic. Access to health seemed to be an alarming issue while analysing the descriptive data. Along with a severe blow to their livelihood, each of them struggled with their health- be it sexual, mental or specialised healthcare needs. The pandemic only magnified many crevasses of social stigma and structural inequalities, further distancing them from obtaining desired health care services. Experiences of these trans-women depicts that chronic marginalisation and transphobia in the name of pandemic only worsened their gender status.

Keywords: Gender, Qualitative data/methods/approaches, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Health and morbidity

See paper.

  Presented in Session 105. Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Relations