AIOU Announced Free Education From Matric To PHD For Transgenders – But Is It Enough?

Allama Iqbal Open University has taken a brilliant initiative by providing free education for transgenders. No doubt, it is an unconventional step, but the question arises, is this enough to promote education in the third gender?

Men for centuries have been ruling the society by maintaining their stronghold and control. Modern women wish to stand not far behind, talking loudly about the glass-ceiling and claiming equal rights to their male counterparts. However, what we have been overlooking for centuries is the forgotten gender, the third gender, or as you understand it ‘Transgender.’

Abandonment from families, social stigmatization, and sexual abuse is what we have written as their fate and unfortunately, we are still not ready to revisit and change it. We, on an individual and collective level, have failed to realize our responsibilities that we have towards this marginalized segment of the society.

Pakistan’s Position On The Issue:

Pakistan has not only been lagging behind in providing them rights but unfortunately, we as a state have failed to provide them identity yet. In 2012, NADRA decided to have a section of the Third gender on their forms finally.

That is enough to reflect our failure. For 65 years since the creation of Pakistan, we were in complete DENIAL of their existence. Till 2017, the transgender population was forced to mark themselves in the ‘disabled’  section during the census, that again is a mirror image of our standing on the issue. Now you must be thinking how is that possible when we have seen them contesting for elections, working as teachers and gracing the modeling industry. Well, unfortunately, the failures outnumber the success stories with a huge blow.

They might have the audacity to express themselves vocally, but we couldn’t build capacity in our society to absorb it. The result is in front of you. We are wasting and incapacitating a significant percentage of our population due to our ignorance, that we can refine as a productive asset of the country.

Nothing will change unless we change the way we treat and view them. The day we start teaching our kids to respect the third gender as an equal human being rather than outcasts, is when the change will occur.

Nonetheless, huge appreciation and support for AIOU for taking this bold step, and giving us a reality check of where we stand. We hope that we can make a change on the individual and collective level.

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below.

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