- Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat (the Federal Obudsman of Pakistan) has chosen Syeda Viquar-un-Nisa-Hashmi to be a commissioner to represent members of the transgender community.
- Her expanded role will include addressing grievances and systemic issues through dialogue with key stakeholders, as well as promoting and advancing protection for transgender Pakistani and looking after their welfare.
- In addition, Hashmi urged the government and healthcare institutions to better understand the needs of transgender Pakistani.
The Ombudsman in Pakistan made history by appointing a commissioner for transgender people for the very first time.
According to the transgender latest news by the Gulf Times published on January 8, the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat (the Federal Obudsman of Pakistan) has chosen Syeda Viquar-un-Nisa-Hashmi to be a commissioner to represent members of the transgender community.
Currently a commissioner for children/focal person, her new expanded role will now include addressing grievances and systemic issues through dialogue with key stakeholders, research and studies, as well as promoting and advancing protection for transgender Pakistani and looking after their welfare.
In addition to her powers, she will be able to conduct suo motu action with prior written permission from the Ombudsman in coordinating with the law enforcement authorities.
“Currently in Pakistan the transgender community is facing immense issues in getting social acceptance, jobs, and identity among others,” Hashmi said. “They were the ones who were being disowned by their families, she said, adding that throughout their life they faced harshness and hatred from the society just for being transgender.”
She also mentioned how transgender people are pushed to the margins of society, denied of employment and educational opportunities and faced discrimination in healthcare.
In particular, she said that transgender people may be qualified but are unable to get reputable job on the basis of their gender identity. They were also likely to avoid seeking health care for fear that they might be mistreated.
“This attitude of the society has forced them to become professional dancers where they are also being sexually abused,” she continued. “This platform will address transgender persons’ concerns keeping in mind their dignity, feelings and integrity.”
Additionally, she questioned the accuracy of the national census where transgender population was estimated to be 10,418, representing 0.005% of the Pakistan’s population of 2017 million.
She said, “I believe there are many families in our country who are reluctant to disclose that their family member is a transgender person due to which, they are not counted.”
Urging both private and public sectors in judiciary, police, media, and health departments to be more sensitive towards transgender people, she highlighted that there is a need to better understand transgender rights and give them respect that they deserved.
“My aim is to provide an enabling environment to the transgender community where their families can proudly own them, they can get better job opportunities and they can move around with full dignity and respect,” she explained.
Last October, Pakistan was in the international headlines for discovery a beheaded transgender woman in the northwestern city of Peshawar. In response to growing concerns over the safety of transgender Pakistani, advocates demanded protection and representation in the government.
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