KARACHI: The transgender do not want to dance on the streets or beg for money, claimed Bindiya Rana. Accept us as equal humans and provide us chances for employment, she demanded.
Rana, who is the president of the Gender Interactive Alliance – an organisation working for the rights of transgenders – insisted that the transgender are capable of solving all their problems. Speaking at a seminar titled the ‘Importance of Transgender Rights’ on Wednesday, Rana said the transgender community is happy to have been accepted as a third and exclusive gender but the promises made in the ruling by the Supreme Court have yet to be implemented.
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The hall was packed with the members of the transgender community who had gathered to voice their concerns. The seminar was organised by women, children and indigenous communities’ rights organisation, Roshni Helpline.
Rana said the community faces employment issues because people do not provide them with suitable jobs, in addition to security and health issues.
Due to a lack of legislation, the transgender community is still facing problems, she said. It was the responsibility of the parliamentarians to draft legislations in light of the Supreme Court ruling to ensure basic rights to the transgender community that are enjoyed by other citizens, claimed Rana. She complained that not a single party had issued them tickets to contest in the local government polls.
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“Imran Khan talks about Naya [new] Pakistan but he has never highlighted our problems. Is he planning to leave us in Purana [old] Pakistan?” she asked, pointing out that not a single party has spoken about the rights of the transgender community in their manifesto.
East deputy commissioner Asif Jan proposed the establishment of a vocational skill development desk at his office. “This vocational centre will help provide skill-based training to transgenders,” he said.
He added that a help desk had already been established at the commissioner’s office for the transgender community, where a transgender has been appointed to highlight and solve issues faced by the community.
Supreme Court advocate Naveed Ahmed said the legislation process has been slow since the Supreme Court’s ruling. He termed the ruling as turning point in the lives of the members of the transgender community. He urged the government to give the community their dues, regarding the two per cent employment quota, according to their work skills. “The government should also launch a community-specific loan scheme,” said Ahmed. He added that transgenders should be accepted socially and their due rights should be given to them, under Article 25 of the Constitution.
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Supreme Court ruling
According to the SC ruling, transgenders are entitled to all the rights guaranteed to all citizens in the Constitution. The ruling states that they should not be deprived of their legitimate rights, particularly the right of inheritance to all movable and immovable properties, and the right to adopt any profession.
Since the ruling, members of the transgender community have been issued computerised national identity cards and passports with recognition as members of the third gender. However a lack of legislation has delayed the attainment of other rights for the community.
The officials of the Roshni Helpline announced their intention to meet with parliamentarians to raise the concerns of the transgender community in the coming month.