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Activists demand early approval of transgender protection policy

Activists demand early approval of transgender protection policy

PESHAWAR: Political activists, members of the provincial assembly and political party representatives on Friday called on provincial government to consider the human rights of transgender and intersex people as the provincial protection policy awaits approval of the provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In this connection, an all-party conference was organized at Peshawar press club jointly organized by Blue Veins, TransAction and Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network (PCSN).

In July 2017, the draft of the transgender protection policy was submitted to the KP Government through Directorate of Social Department. The directorate is in consultation with several line departments and has asked for their comments in relation to the adoption and implementation of Provincial Policy on the rights of transgender and intersex persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The notable participants of the event included the following MPAs Sobia Khan (PML-N), Rashida Riffat (Jamaat- e- Islami), Nighat Yasmeen Orakzai (PPP). Mukhtar Bacha (National Party) Riaz Marwat (ANP Wali) Yousaf Anwar (MKP), Shahab Khattak (AWP) and Taimur Kamal of Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network (PCSN).

Farzana Jan, President of the TransAction Alliance KP said that the aim of the policy is to put an end to social stigma, discrimination and create opportunities for transgender and intersex community in every field of life as equal and productive citizens of Pakistan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province to take lead on the issue but because of the slow progress other provinces and federal government has taken significant measures leaving KP far behind.

The political party representatives said that over the last two years there has been a growing interest in issues of Transgenders and intersex persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The recognition and attention is a welcome precondition to address the needs of the community. It is important that we as a nation are recognizing that gender and sexuality go beyond the simple binary of male and female. But nothing on ground is materialized yet and the promises made remain on the letters only. The political party representatives are asked for education and livelihood opportunities for transgender and intersex community.

Mr. Qamar concluded that the proposed policy draft envisage putting an end to the social stigma regarding transgender and intersex community and ensure nondiscriminatory treatment towards the community. The policy aimed at enforcing the constitutional rights of Transgenders (TGs) and intersex community considering the Supreme Court judgment (2009) and other court directions.

The policy covers all the categories of TGs, including male to female TGs and intersex people. It emphasized on the rights of minority group to self-identify themselves as a separate sex as per Supreme Court judgment. It also ensures them equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, right to equal treatment under the law, right to live life without fear of violence and equitable right in all decision-making bodies.

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