The Transgender Protection Bill 2022 getting massive criticism and aversion from the public. The bill was enacted and passed by the Parliament in 2018 in light of obligations under international law that allows trans people to choose their gender, to safeguard their basic fundamental rights and to provide legal recognition to them. The bill prohibits discrimination and harassment against them which they have been experiencing in every field.
It became a hot topic of debate once again. The religious parties claim that the bill is actually promoting and giving legal protection to homosexuality in the country. However, the bill is being misunderstood. It actually provides protection to “Intersex People” known as Khawaja sira community, nor does it mention any kind of sex change nor did it allow same-sex people to marry. Transgender individuals belong to one of the most stigmatized groups in Pakistani society and that discrimination and rejection leads to anxiety and depression. They face everyday violence, harassment, death threats and fatal attacks. They have been subjected to physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, murder, rape and torture. Due to widespread stigma, most are begging, dancing and are engaged in sex work.
Now that the transgender community finally getting something good, the religious parties making it controversial linking up with Islamic laws and curbing and trying to revoke it. Transgender rights are human rights. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity is still prevalent and a big challenge for Pakistan.
RAMSHA AHSANULLAH JOKHIO,