The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 is a law in Pakistan that aims to provide equal rights to transgender people and to safeguard their rights through legal recognition. The law was passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on May 8, 2018, and came into force on May 15, 2018.
The law defines transgender people as “any person whose gender identity or expression is different from the sex assigned to them at birth.” It prohibits discrimination against transgender people in education, employment, healthcare, and other areas. The law also establishes a National Commission on Transgender Affairs to oversee the implementation of the law and to promote the rights of transgender people.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 is a significant step forward for transgender rights in Pakistan. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that transgender people are able to fully enjoy their rights.
Here are some of the key provisions of the law:
- Transgender people have the right to self-identify their gender.
- Transgender people have the right to access education, employment, healthcare, and other services.
- Transgender people are protected from discrimination and violence.
- The government is required to establish a National Commission on Transgender Affairs to oversee the implementation of the law.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 is a landmark law that has the potential to improve the lives of transgender people in Pakistan. However, it is important to note that the law is still new and that it will take time to fully implement its provisions. It is also important to note that there is still a great deal of prejudice and discrimination against transgender people in Pakistan. Despite these challenges, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 is a positive step forward for transgender rights in Pakistan.
The ruling by the Federal Shariat Court of Islamabad to strike down sections of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 is a setback for the rights of transgender people in Pakistan. The court’s decision is based on a narrow interpretation of Islamic law that does not take into account the lived experiences of transgender people.
Amnesty International has noted on its website that ;
“The Federal Shariat Court of Islamabad … ruled that the sections 2(f), 3 and 7 of the Transgender Act 2018 which relate to gender identity, the right to self-perceived gender identity and the right of inheritance for transgender people do not conform with their interpretation of Islamic principles. The Court ceased, with immediate effect, the sections deemed ‘un-Islamic’. During the delivery of the verdict, the Court speculated that the Act could pave the way for rape, and sexual assault of women as they allege the Act makes it easy for a man to gain access to “exclusive spaces” intended for women, “disguised” as a transgender woman. There is no publicly available evidence of such incidents taking place in Pakistan.”
The court’s decision is also based on the assumption that transgender people are more likely to commit sexual assault, which is a harmful and discriminatory stereotype. There is no evidence to support this claim, and in fact, transgender people are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.
The court’s decision is a blow to the progress that has been made in recent years to improve the lives of transgender people in Pakistan. It is important to remember that transgender people are just like everyone else, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
The court’s decision is also a reminder of the challenges that transgender people face in Pakistan. They continue to face discrimination and violence, and they are often denied access to basic services. It is important to continue to fight for the rights of transgender people, and to ensure that they are able to live their lives free from discrimination and violence.
Here are some of the things that can be done to support transgender rights in Pakistan:
- Educate people about transgender identities and experiences.
- Challenge discrimination and violence against transgender people.
- Support transgender-led organizations and initiatives.
- Advocate for the passage of laws that protect the rights of transgender people.
By working together, we can create a more inclusive and just society for all people, including transgender people.