“Transgender” is an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transgender in Pakistan
In Pakistan, transgender is mostly associated with entertaining n festivals including marriage ceremonies, birthdays, different festivals, and events. In this modern era, transgender is still linked to names like Murat, Hijra, Khawaja Sara, and Khusra. Transgender has to face immense hardship in securing their basic rights. Although, discriminatory attitudes towards transgender people are “against the values of Islam” said the Chairman of the Council of Islam Ideology (CII), Dr. Qibla Ayaz.
In Pakistan, the rights of transgender are severely violated as they are not given due respect in society. Many transgender fall victim to sexual harassment and forced to become sex workers just to manage their living. Transgender is the main source of HIV spike in Pakistan. The higher authorities don’t take action for this cause and even transgender are not aware of the consequences of such actions. Trans people usually face discrimination while searching for a job and are compelled to beg, dance in order to earn money. Transgender is also deprived of the right to healthcare.
The behavior of society towards transgender is improving gradually. The ‘Transgender Persons Bill 2017’ has brought a ray of hope to the community. This bill is aimed at reducing many basic issues that they face. According to this bill, transgender will be permitted to get driving licenses. Harassment of transgender will be forbidden, safe houses will be constructed by the government, and they will be given the facility of loans to start small businesses. Recently for the first time in history, a Pakistani news channel hired a transgender as a newsreader. There are so many talented makeup artists who are currently working in the media industry along with fashion designers. The government has taken a number of initiatives to uplift the lives of those from the transgender community, commonly seen as a source of entertainment. They were given the right to get driver licenses last year. Recently, a school was opened by an NGO for trans children to give them their educational rights, but they are working on a very small scale.
Laila Ali got the first driving license in Islamabad only in November last year. They were also brought into the national database system just two years ago. The first passport was issued to Farzana Jan, President of the Trans-Action alliance in Pakistan in 2017 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Badlay Ga Pakistan
We, at Badly Ga Pakistan, will try to highlight the basic issues transgender face in our community. We as a society have to take responsibility to empower our minority. We have to create more opportunities for transgender in the professional area so that they can excel and live their lives as normal people do.