Argentina's Senate has passed a bill mandating a quota of transvestite and transgendered workers be hired by all government agencies and now it is up to the Executive to pass it into law.
The bill was endorsed by 55 Senators, while only one voted against it and 6 others abstained. A Lower House approval earlier this month leaves it now up to President Alberto Fernández to sign it into law.
The project was introduced by the ruling Frente de Todos bloc and after voting, LGBTIQ supporters headed by Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity Elisabeth Gómez Alcorta was welcomed in private by Senate Speaker, Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in her office, together with Deputy Máximo Kirchner and other FdT lawmakers.
The initiative began to be dealt with after 3 pm this Thursday in the midst of a festive atmosphere. The debate was opened by the Frente de Todos (FdT) Senator Norma Durango, who also heads the Women's Banking Commission. We are discussing something more than the transvestite, trans and transgender labour quota, we are discussing whether this group is going to begin to have the rights that, as citizens, correspond to them: human rights, that is what we are talking about, she said.
Macrist Senator Gladys González added before casting her concurrent vote that “I do not want to look the other way as if it is not really that 9 out of 10 trans people do not have access to a formal job. We have to repair what we did wrong as a society and as a State.”
Daniel Lovera of the FdT and head of the Upper House's Labor Committee, said: ”The objective of this law is that this population that has been invisible for so long can access a decent job that makes it possible to improve their quality of life.”
In Argentina, seven provinces already have a transvestite labour quota as do several municipalities. The bill had been approved in the last session of Deputies by a large majority (207 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions). It establishes a quota of 1% for national State agencies of all sorts as well as incentives for the hiring of transvestite and trans people in the private sector and financial support for transvestite productive projects.
Now the Executive Branch must regulate the bill, to begin with, its prompt compliance. Gómez Alcorta highlighted Thursday's achievement was the end of a road started by Presidential Decree 721/2020, which established the transvestite labour quota in the public sector. She added many companies were interested in complying with the law.