Published Date: Feb 3, 2014
SDPI Press Release (February 3, 2014)
Transgender in Pakistan do not want separate schools,
hospitals or vocational institutes, they want to be recognized as a ‘third’
gender of Pakistan. This was expressed by Almas Bobby, President of Transgender
Foundation Pakistan in a seminar on ‘Acceptance & Opportunities for
Transgender in Pakistan’ at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
here on Monday.
Further she hinted that social acceptance should be done on
community level. However, if required, than every housing society should take
courage to have transgender’s separate schools, institutes or hospitals. She
appreciated the Suo Motto action of Supreme Court of Pakistan for having
transgender’s own identity cards. It is a great responsibility on our community
to prove ourselves with respect and dignity.
Inflation and corruption has forced many amongst us to
choose the wrong path’ remarks Bobby ‘But we are loving people. We need love
and respect. People need to change their attitude towards us and the government
should be focused to provide us with equal rights to education and work
opportunities like any other citizen of the country.’
Muhammad Majid Bashir, Senior Advocate briefed about the
laws for transgender in Pakistan. In 2011 Supreme Court of Pakistan, primarily
custodian of the fundamental rights of human being, has taken up a step for
transgender community to allow a third gender category on national identity
cards, a legal share of family inheritance, a reserved 2% quota of jobs in all
sectors and the right to vote in elections. However, these rights were already
present in constitution, Supreme Court simply identified those rights for
transgender. “Social acceptability is required for the strengthening of these
rights, which are extremely lacking” he lamented.
Riffee Khan, Representative from, Gender Interactive
Alliance, Pakistan said that the Sindh government has employed three
transgender persons as full-time employees and luckily I am one of them.
Further she explained the endless support of her family, which was helpful for
her to achieve double Masters in Pakistan. “Unfortunately, transgender in
Pakistan has to face brutal discrimination in jobs, not to mention the limited
access to education and state protection. They are easy victims of violence and
have no option but to indulge in immoral activities for survival” she said.
However, according to Article 25 in Constitution of Pakistan all Pakistanis
have equal rights without any classifications, said Khan.
Jannat Ali, Project Manager, Khawaja Sira Society, Lahore
focused on the needs to be catered by government & civil societies for
transgender’s civilized living. “With such initiatives they are opening up
space for themselves as productive citizens in a society, showing their
strengths and proving themselves functional rather than relying on help by
government or any NGO”, she added. Further, she also introduced about Chand
Literacy Society, which is providing free education to transgender and also
offering them work opportunities.