After being underrepresented for centuries, a historic moment has nudged the fight for equality in the right direction a little further. For the first time in India, a legislative law has the pronouns, she/her throughout the bill, to refer to all genders.
It appeared in the draft of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, which Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw seeking the public's views on the proposed law on Friday.
"We have attempted in the philosophy of women's empowerment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government works to use the words she and her in the entire bill, instead of he, him and his. So this is an innovative thing which has been attempted in the bill," Vaishnaw said.
This initiative is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign, which aims to empower girls and encourage families to educate and raise them well.
“The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill is a legislation that frames out the rights and duties of the citizen (Digital Nagrik) on one hand and the obligations to use collected data lawfully of the Data Fiduciary on the other hand,” the explanatory note said.
The Personal Data Protection Bill was withdrawn in August after a joint parliamentary committee suggested 81 changes to it. It was to be replaced with one that had a "comprehensive framework" and was in alignment with contemporary digital privacy laws. The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill is a revised and improved version of that.
As for the pronouns, even though the Beti Bachao, Beti Badhao campaigned has elicited slow results, the representation of women in an official, legislative bill holds great symbolic value by threatening the normalization of patriarchy and is definitely a step in the right direction.
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