Raza ullah khan
In the past few years, there has been an unnerving increase in violence against the transgender community in Pakistan. There have been incidents of brutal killing of transgender activists in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and other parts of the country. According to an activist member of the community, 45 transgender people have been killed and 300 suffered harassment in the last two years in KPK alone. Every day, members of this community suffer humiliation in one form or the other as they continue to be ignored in all walks of life such as education, health and employment in the government sector.
In the 21st century, they have been deprived of their basic rights such as the Right to Education. Majority of the transgender people do not get a chance to pursue education in regular schools. In admission forms, there are only two gender options: Male and Female. In 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted transgenders a place on the National Identity Cards and pronounced their inalienable right to get education but no provincial government has so far succeeded in implementing this decision.
Similarly, society’s behavior toward this community continues to be shameful. Most of us do not even consider them human beings. Even their parents and families do not consider them as their children. Majority of these individuals have no other option but to dance and sing in public spaces to earn a living. Government and other law enforcement agencies such as police are supposed to provide protection to all citizens but unfortunately government has been unwilling to take sincere action in this matter. Police itself is complicit in brutalizing and roughing up transgenders when they go to a Police Station to file a report. It is the responsibility of government to provide protection to them not only from citizens but also from the supposed protectors.
Recently, Saudi Arabia banned transgender people from performing Umrah. The Saudi government has deprived Muslim members of their right to visit the Holy Places in their country. It is the right of transgender people to perform Umrah but they are now deprived of it. Transgender persons were discriminated against at home, workplaces and society at large but banning them from visiting the Holy Places is the worst kind of discrimination.
The state must provide equal opportunity to the transgender community in all walks of life and allocate quotas in jobs and educational institutions.
The writer is a 3rd semester Law student at Islamia college University