We still have a long way to go, and we must not stay blind to it, but Pakistan has taken some determining and commendable steps with regards to transgender rights in the past year. With the rights movements for the segregated and marginalised gender picking pace on social media to making the buzz in the government houses – we have taken progressive steps to be an example in front of the developed world.
Similar views were expressed by Shamus Khan and Joss Greene. authors on CNN News, in their combined collaborated article titled ‘‘What Pakistan gets right and the US gets wrong on trans rights”. In their collective piece, the authors lauded Pakistan’s determining efforts for provision of rights to the transgender community, their improved social acceptability and protecting them as an equal citizen of the state.
With contrast to the USA President Trump’s radical and discriminatory policies have taken a further ugly turn after the recent ban on their inclusion in the military and The Department of Health and Human Services aggressive effort to legally define gender under Title IX as a “biological, immutable condition, determined by genitalia at birth”. The health policy, as absurd as it sounds, will completely wipe off the existence of 1.4 million transgender Americans – a crisis in itself, exposing them to more vulnerability and actually pushing them a step back than where they stand currently.
In contrast to that, the authors call Pakistan’s Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act as groundbreaking and considerate. With giving them the right and security to define their gender on all official documents, it also makes it mandatory for the state to respect “a person’s innermost and individual sense of self as male, female or a blend of both, or neither; that can correspond or not to the sex assigned at birth.”
First educational institute dedicated to them, giving them a seat on television as the first transgender news anchor, a politically active General Elections 2018 for them and recognizing their right to inheritance, we may not be there, but we surely are on the right track.
The authors also referred to the 2016’s fatwa signed by over 50 Muslim clerics, granting them right and recognizing their marriage, saying: “It is permissible for a transgender person with male indications on his body to marry a transgender person with female indications on her body. … Also, normal men and women can also marry such transgender people…”