LAHORE: The transgender persons on Tuesday demanded representation in the National Assembly as well as in various government departments as a step towards their social empowerment.
The demand was made at a discussion held by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan at HRCP office to discuss the availability of opportunities for transgender persons to participate in politics.
As many as 35 transgender persons including Aashi Jan, Neeli Rana, Marvia Malik, Mani and Zehrish Khan participated in the discussion. HRCP Social Media and Publications In-charge Maheen Paracha, Fact-Finding Committee Head Nadeem Abbas, UNDP Pakistan’s Senior Advisor on Human Rights and others were also present on the occasion.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Nadeem said that the transgender community reported that although job quota has been allocated for them in government departments, the implementation of such laws still remains unfulfilled to a large extent.
Further, it was said that despite improvement in the conditions of transgender persons, specially after Supreme Court’s Khakhi v Rawalpindi 2009 judgement and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2017 (TPPRA), was observed, however, special provisions in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) prescribing punishment for discrimination, violence, and hate crimes against the community have still not been included.
Also, the transgender community complained about no shelter houses yet being made for them despite the government’s obligation under TPPRA Section 6(a).
Quoting a transgender person, HRCP official said that they face multiple problems on media when they are asked to prove their identity as a transgender person, which is a violation of TPPRA’s Section 3.
Further, demands including the presence of transgender rights in the manifestoes of political parties, de-stigmatising and gathering accurate figures in the census related to transgender persons were also made.