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Supreme Court amends the word ‘sex worker’ in the handbook on gender stereotypes

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Supreme Court

New Delhi:The Supreme Court has decided to change the term sex worker in its Gender Stereotypes handbook. The country’s top court took this decision after a group of anti-trafficking NGOs expressed concern. More inclusive language will be used in place of sex worker. Because the term sex worker promotes gender stereotypes.

NGO group had written a letter

In fact, a letter in this regard was written to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by an NGO group working against trafficking. After which the Supreme Court decided to use the words ‘victim/survivor of trafficking or woman engaged in commercial sexual activity or forced into commercial sexual exploitation’ in place of sex worker from its handbook on gender stereotyping. In this regard, the Chief Justice says that the use of words like prostitute or sex worker can also promote gender stereotypes.

Request to reconsider the use of the term “sex worker”

A group under the banner of anti-human trafficking NGOs had requested to reconsider the use of the term “sex worker” in the terminology used in the “Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes” published by the court in August 2023. The NGOs which had made this appeal to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court included Injustice-Free Life from Goa, Prayas from Mumbai, Prerna from Maharashtra, KIDS from Karnataka, Nedan from Assam, VIPLA from Maharashtra, SPID from Delhi, New Life Foundation from Manipur. Many NGOs were involved. In this regard, Anurag Bhaskar, Deputy Registrar, CRP, Supreme Court, informed ARZ NGO in an email that the CJI has accepted the change.

The Supreme Court launched the handbook in August 2023.

Let us tell you that in the month of August this year, the Supreme Court had launched a handbook to ban objectionable words used for women. In this, instructions were given not to use about 43 stereotypical words and phrases and alternative words and language were suggested in place of those words. In this, it was suggested to use the word sex worker instead of prostitute. The NGO group had expressed its objection on this.

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