- The Senate’s proposed amendments to The Trangender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill would push forward transgender rights in the country.
- Among the proposals is the removal of consent from a medical board for legal gender recognition.
- Senator Nasreen Jalil, Chair of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, said that the current requirement exposed transgender people to embarrassment or even harassment.
Pakistan has just pushed for a major legislative reform to uphold transgender rights in the country according to the transgender latest news by Pink News posted on February 13.
Several proposals to amend the The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights Bill) were passed at the Senate level.
People can declare their gender identity without the need to submit medical evidence. Currently, the law requires consent from a medical board for legal gender change to be granted.
They would also be granted the same rights and protections as other citizens in the country.
The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights had put forward proposals for the said amendments with the goal of providing protections to the dignity and security of citizens in Pakistan.
Senator Nasreen Jalil, Chair of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, said that the current requirement exposed transgender people to embarrassment or even harassment.
“The transgender community is opposed to the idea of setting up a medical board that should determine their gender fearing that they might be subjected to embarrassment and harassment,” Senator Jalil said.
He further explained, “The bill provides protection to the members of transgender community and prohibits attack on their self-esteem and mistreatment.”
There would also be a new definition of a transgender person under the law. A transgender individual would be anyone whose gender identity and/gender expression differs from the society norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth.
Also agreeing to the proposed amendment that an approval from a medical board was unnecessary was the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which was consulted when the bill was being drawn up.
This legislative reform seem to be a step into the right direction in pushing for transgender rights. Just recently, Pakistan made history by deciding to send transgender volunteers to the Hajj pilgrimage for the very first time.
In 2009, Pakistan was hailed as progressive in terms of protecting trans rights for issuing identity cards with neutral gender markers, the first ever country to do so. In addition, a university offered free education for all transgender individuals last year with the goal of giving them equal educational opportunities.
However, members of the transgender community are still largely stigmatized and even targeted for attacks in this Muslim.
For instance, two trans women were brutally assaulted when five men broke into the house rented by a group of transgender people in the capital city, Karachi.
Last year, a beheaded body of a transgender person was discovered in Peshawar. Lastly, several weeks ago, armed men opened fire at a trans people which left one killed.