Pakistani government division calls for transgender rights to be reassessed in light of trans violence

A government department has called for the rights of transgender people to be re-assessed in light of increased violence against the community.

The National Council for Social Welfare (NCSW) announced its plans to tackle social issues those within the trans community currently face in the country.

The department is working with civil society members, students and the trans community to push through legislation on issues surrounding violence, education and employment.

The chairman of NCSW challenged social acceptance of the trans community, stating that religion currently stood in the way of acceptance.

He said in a meeting, in which ways to tackle issues were discussed: “We should change our social behaviour and try to consider them a part of our society.

“In a not far development after the struggle of transgender community, Supreme Court (SC) issued the orders of providing National Identity Card, right to vote and inherit the property to eunuchs,” he added.

A representative for a trans association, Almas Boby, said that despite the ongoing discussions nothing has yet been changed for the community.

“Government only gives promises to the transgender community,” she said.

Boby and others in the community are pushing for health, education and employment facilities specifically for the trans community because the government is “reluctant” to help integrate trans people into society.

Boby explained that in the past, trans people were worked as ‘eunuchs’ who could dance for money. Now, this is a less accepted practice and so trans people have been marginalised in society.

“These professions are also not acceptable for the society now, even going for Umrah was also banned for the community in previous days,” she said.

The last year has seen an increase in violence and intolerance toward the transgender community in Pakistan.

A trans rights activist and actor was shot and killed in the country. Alesha died in Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital after she had been shot at least six times.

Another trans woman was shot three times when she refused to have sex with men who broke into her home and attempted to rape her.