(Photo via: Jujuy Provincial Government)

Yesterday, the provincial office of Census and Statistics (DIPEC) released the first survey of transgender women in Jujuy. It revealed that of a total of 163 people, the majority live at a high level of social vulnerability due to a lack of access to housing and formal work. In partnership with DIPEC, Iron Ladies Foundation – an NGO that focuses on issues surrounding the community of trans women in Jujuy – conducted the census starting in November 2017, concluding in February of this year.

The census took place in the municipalities of San Pedro, Ledesma, La Mendieta, Monterrico, Perico, Palpalá, and San Salvador, all cities in the province of Jujuy.

Key findings

While most transgender women don’t have their own housing and live with their families, 4 percent lives on the streets in Jujuy. The report also indicated that 40 percent, around 70 trans women, make their living through prostitution, while at the same time, others work informal jobs in the black market.

The report also indicated that most trans women in the community began expressing their identity between the ages of 13 and 17. In both Jujuy and Argentina as a whole, various NGOs estimate that the life expectancy for trans individuals is between 35 and 40 years, almost 40 years below the national average.

74 percent reported having suffered from discrimination on the streets by strangers. 66 percent of transgender sex workers said that they had been arrested at least once by the police, without intervention by a judge.

While 86 percent of trans individuals began formal education at one point, 45 percent did not finish secondary school because of discrimination, mostly from teachers, and to a lesser extent by peers.

“This census is important because it will generate a commitment from the State to adopt policies that will help fix this situation,” Iron Ladies Foundation spokesperson Lourdes Ibarra said. She added that a “trans work quota should be regulated by law,” in addition to “advancing comprehensive sex education at all education levels.”

“The community of trans women is highly vulnerable, the majority of whom find themselves in situations of prostitution and sex work,” Ibarra added. She explained that more “formal” work will make trans women feel more included in the Jujuy community.