Third gender in Pakistan


I have recently been researching on Third gender rights and legal situation for them in Pakistan and found this Article written by Fatima Shaheen.The writer is a barrister and host of 'Qanoon Bolta Hai' on PTV News.
Not only Fatima shaheen, there are so many people who through their writings are projecting the true image of a specific society in Pakistan and Asia, most probably all around the world outcasting these human beings just on the basis of their gender.When law is giving them protection and recognising their rights why the Society is unable to accept them as they are???
Article by her is as under;
The 2009 Supreme Court's landmark judgment in Dr Mohammad Aslam Khaki versus SSPO (Rawalpindi), the Court unequivocally stated the transgender/eunuch community was entitled to the same rights and opportunities as equal citizens. Along with according the transgender community this status, the Court went further to state that there would be no discrimination against them as far as their rights and obligations were concerned, and moreover both the federal and provincial governments were responsible for providing them with protection of life/ property and for securing their dignity. Additionally, these individuals were not to be deprived from their legitimate right to movable and immovable property, their right to pursue education and their right to franchise as they wished.
Following this monumental decision, the transgender persons can now obtain national identity cards that recognize their 'third' gender, hence giving them a cover on all official documents - an inconceivable dream they could not envision living. Furthermore, by underscoring Pakistan's shunned transgender community its right to vote, this ruling set the stage for their concerns to be heard. Had it not been for this decision, perhaps five transgendered individuals would not have felt the state protection needed to contest polls in the general elections of May 2013.
A reading of this judgment gives one the impression that the transgenders now have exemplary rights in all walks of life in our Pakistani society, that since we have some of the most progressive laws on the books, it must naturally stand to reason our society too is accepting. But a quick glance into the practical lives of the transgenders certainly shows otherwise. Many transgenders want to pursue higher studies in the renowned universities in our country, and ambitious people wish to leave their mark professionally. All those who wish to take advantage of the laws that exist to protect their opportunities are faced with one problem: support. There is no system to support them, no concrete and respectable job opportunities they can hold onto or feel welcome in, no substantive education policy which ensures their admittance for higher education, and certainly a dearth of banks/organizations which would aid the funding of various business initiatives taken by members of this community.
So how can we expect the Supreme Court judgement to be implemented in full letter and spirit then? How can we ensure that this vulnerable segment of the society gets all rights and protections promised to it by the Constitution? The state of affairs the transgender community finds itself is in proof positive that progressive judicial decisions are not enough. So what can be done?
After careful review of the subject and extensive research, I have come to conclude the government needs to take a leap and come forward, fortifying the Court's decision and enforcing it as the writ of the state. It needs to devise and implement an extensive policy ensuring that transgender right of education, right to life (including well-being and healthcare), and right to work is fully guarded and enforced despite all odds. It needs to introduce and implement various vocational training and skills-based programme training courses for this community so as to equip them with skills that will enable them to work and earn their livelihood in a decent and independent manner. Similarly, transgenders need to be brought in the political mainstream too; if they are to be at par with other citizens of Pakistan, it is paramount that they should have necessary and suitable representation in the political system.
A discussion on a case for the third gender would be incomplete without mention of our generally biased and prejudiced societal attitudes towards them. As you may all may agree, transgender integration in the society may only be fully ensured if we as a society accept them as our equals. It does not matter how many more Supreme Court rulings are passed until and unless we as a society stop shunning transgenders for who they are; rather we understand and comprehend the simple fact that gender orientation has nothing to do with skills/abilities. Then we will be able to fully incorporate this community into the mainstream they seek and deserve. In a nation battling extreme terrorism, incessant violence and chronic human rights abuses, let's all try come together and help this neglected minority celebrate the protection and freedoms accorded to it by the Supreme Court ruling of 2009.
Share on Google Plus

About Zarmina Siraj Ul Haq

0 comments:

Post a Comment