Kerala govt passes law fully written using feminine pronouns in Malayalam
"This is the first Bill that has completely used feminine pronouns. All the laws in the country have always used male pronouns till now," Health Minister Veena George's office said in a release.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Public Health Act 2023, the first law in the country written using feminine pronouns was passed by the assembly on Tuesday. The law incorporates measures to deal with the new public health challenges and seeks to empower women by using female pronouns.
According to Health Minister Veena George,” It is the first such law passed in the legislative history of the country using feminine pronouns. So far ‘he’ included ‘she’ as well in the laws. But this law uses feminine pronouns entirely. She in the text means he and all other genders.” The union government has presented a bill on data (Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022) in the same format but it is yet to become law.
The new law aims to tackle communicable diseases caused by climate change and zoonotic pathogens, as well as non-communicable diseases resulting from lifestyle changes. It grants more power to health authorities to manage communicable diseases and adopts a ‘One Health’ approach to address emerging health challenges.
The minister emphasised that the new law does not prevent anyone from seeking treatment from any registered medical practitioner. A treating doctor may issue a health certificate based on lab reports on notified infectious diseases. The act covers topics such as water, waste, infections, vector control, lifestyle disease prevention, anti-microbial resistance, and gaining immunity through yoga.
The new act unifies the existing public health laws — the Travancore-Cochin Public Health Act of 1955 and the Madras Public Health Act of 1939. Some terms and designations related to public health have also been changed.