Pakistan has changed the law so transgender people can be their gender without medical approval

13-year-old shoots dead his transgender sister in Pakistan

Legislators in Pakistan have approved a major reform to improve the lives of trans people.

The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights passed a string of proposed amendments to ‘The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017′ Monday.

Trans people will now be recognised as their gender without requiring consent from a medical board.

They will also now have the same protections to dignity and security as other citizens of Pakistan.


“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 Nasreen Jalil, Chair of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights said.

“The bill provides protection to the members of transgender community and prohibits attack on their self-esteem and mistreatment.”

Transgender people in Pakistan will now be defined as “any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the society norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth”.

Resham (R), a former Pakistani transgender candidate for the general election (Getty)

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) was consulted about the Bill, who also agreed that a medical board was not needed to determine a person’s gender identity.

However the country faces an uphill battle to change social attitudes, with attacks on trans people in the country not uncommon.

Pakistan has taken several steps towards equality for trans people.

In 2009, the country became one of the first in the world to legally recognise a third gender when they handed out gender-neutral identity cards.

Earlier in October, a Pakistani university offered free education to trans students.

And in August, the government introduced a bill which aimed to protect trans people.

But despite these moves, violence and sexual attacks on trans people are still common in the Muslim country.

Last year two transgender women were allegedly gang-raped in their own home.

Two other trans women were left brutally beaten when five men broke into the house rented by a group of trans women in the capital, Karachi.

(Facebook/Trans Action Pakistan)

(Facebook/Trans Action Pakistan)

And just a few weeks earlier, a gang of armed men opened fire on a group of trans people.

One trans person was killed in the attack, which was also committed in the capital.