Assam Education

Inclusivity in Education: Demand Grows for Gender-Neutral Toilets in Assam

News Reporter News Reporter
Monday, October 16, 2023
Inclusivity in Education: Demand Grows for Gender-Neutral Toilets in Assam
Pride Walk in Dibrugarh Advocates for Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Educational Institutions
Dibrugarh, Assam - October 16, 2023: In a significant display of solidarity and advocacy for gender inclusivity, over a hundred individuals representing diverse backgrounds gathered for a pride walk in Dibrugarh, eastern Assam. The primary goal of this event was to emphasize the pressing need for gender-neutral washrooms within educational institutions across the state.

Led by Rituparna, a prominent figure in the Assam Transgender Welfare Board and a leader of Nguvu Change, a global collective dedicated to driving social change, the pride walk attracted attention from across the region. Rituparna, whose name means 'power' in Swahili, has been a key advocate for transgender rights and gender inclusivity.

The inspiration for the call for gender-neutral toilets stemmed from a significant development earlier this year when the Supreme Court announced plans to construct nine gender-neutral washrooms within its premises. This initiative was part of a broader effort to promote gender inclusivity and "sexuality sensitisation." These actions were hailed as a significant step forward in acknowledging the necessity for queer-friendly spaces.

While addressing the participants of the pride walk, Ms. Rituparna stressed the importance of extending the same sensitivity to educational institutions. She underlined that for the transgender community, accessing a restroom should never be a source of anxiety. It is a fundamental right to have access to hygienic and inclusive sanitation facilities. Rituparna passionately expressed her hope that all educational institutions in Assam would consider creating gender-neutral washrooms to uphold this right.

The pride walk not only served as a platform to raise public awareness regarding this vital issue but also supported Ms. Rituparna's petition to relevant authorities. Her petition calls for immediate action to provide access to safe and inclusive washrooms within educational institutions.

The organizers of the pride walk reported that 35 colleges across Assam have lent their support to the campaign. Notably, J.N. College in Boko, situated southwest of Guwahati, has already taken a commendable step by providing a gender-neutral toilet.

This collaborative effort of activists, educational institutions, and concerned citizens exemplifies the growing momentum in the fight for gender inclusivity and equal rights. As the movement gains traction, it is hoped that Assam's educational institutions will continue to take steps toward creating safe and inclusive spaces for all, regardless of gender identity or expression.