A provincial consultation on the needs of protection policy on rights of transgender persons was jointly organized by Blue Veins and TransAction Alliance with the collaboration of The Asia Foundation. The consultation aimed to engage multi stakeholders in providing input for the proposed policy document. The consultation was well attended by transgender community, NGOs, lawyers, media representatives, students, teachers, political activist and government line departments.
It was discussed that despite progressive measures by the Supreme Court of Pakistan transgender community continues to face a plethora of problems. Transgender persons are sidelined and treated as untouchables. The denial of social justice leads to the denial of economic and political justice. The suffer from poor access to education, healthcare, legal aid, employment and lack of social acceptance.
Measures towards sensitization of school administrations, curbing of stigma, discrimination and violence against transgender persons are also mostly absent. They are discriminated against in access to medical services and most hospitals lack adequate skills or provisions to meet their special health needs. The State should seriously address the problems being faced by transgenders such as fear, shame, gender, dysphoria, social pressure, depression, suicidal tendencies, social stigma, etc.
Minister Information and Special assistance of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mushtaq Ghani who is head of the CM committee on Transgender Rights said that the provincial government will not tolerate transphobic behavior and discrimination on the basis of gender identity. He said that KP government is committed to bring transgender community as equal citizens of Pakistan.
President of the TransAction Alliance Farzana Jan thanked the provincial government who recently announced to prepare the protection policy to safeguard the rights of the transgender persons. She said that â€œThe Supreme Courtâ€™s decision had laid out a charter of possibilities for transgender rights in the country, the protection policy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will concretize the rights framework and will serve as crucial initiation of a much-needed conversation.
Qamar Naseem of Blue Veins who is also member of the Chief Ministers special committee on the rights of Transgender community (KP) and part of the drafting committee said that not only Pakistan but the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be the first South Asian province to have a Transgender protection policy.—APP