Dance of Hunger: Transgenders in Pakistan

All of us idealize a state where all the individuals have equality in terms of rights, privileges, education, and medical facilities. Although the western countries have laws to curtail the abuse of authority by any social stratum against others. The situation is quite alarming within the rural, suburban, and urban areas of Pakistan. The article brings into limelight the status of transgenders in Pakistan. It talks about the miseries inflicted on this social stratum left with limited resources of earning.

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The Struggling Situation of Trangenders in Pakistansexual discrimination, assault, rape

Every day, you come across a news ticker. It reports an incident of sexual discrimination, assault, rape, and murder of young girls. Reports of husbands using acid or beating their wives and kids to death. Women are kidnapped and young children are tricked to go to some unknown place. Later on, their dead bodies are revealed from these regions. The redundancy of these incidents is somewhat serious for all young children and girls, especially after the sunset. The aforementioned scenarios reflect the gravity of sexual violence prevalent in different parts of the country alike. However, the government as well as the general masses overlook one issue, i-e the rights of transgenders in Pakistan.

Read more: Do unethical clothes incite sexual harassment?

Slangs Used for Transgenders 

Transgenders or Trans in short are individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex determined at the time of their birth. This predicament prevails throughout the lifespan of a Trans. One has a sense of belonging to a particular gender. Whereas, the morphology and biological functions are of the opposite sex. Such individuals are allocated multiple slangs and titles to differentiate from the rest of the society.

Some common slangs include Khaansaama, Khusra, and Hijra etc. Most of these slang titles are used to portray this social group as impotent physically weaker. They are thought to be weaker than women to defend their respect and honor. 

Number of Transgenders in Pakistan

The actual number of trans in Pakistan is still not verified. As they are hesitant to represent their community in public and on paper. According to estimates, the social group is around half to one million. But, the real picture can only be revealed with an authenticated census. The trans community has represented their actual number rather than a superficial number. Nevertheless, there is a need to look into those reasons due to which the trans community is reluctant to reveal themselves.

Issues Faced by Transgenders in Pakistantransgender issues, transgenders in Pakistan, human rights

The trans community is generally subject to physical violence, stigmatization, harassment, and rejection by men and women alike. None of the two genders are willing to accept this gender as part of their community. As it would raise questions on their gender-based identity as well. Also, they do not conform to the conventional gender norms observed in society. Official identity documents do not allow them to state preferred gender.

Resultantly, trans community members face many issues. People differentiate them socially, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally. The community members are unable to gain basic education at an early age. Consequently, they can not anticipate competing with the other group members of their age applying for different corporate jobs, and joining different professions to kick start their career journey. In this context, the trans community members have no other choice. They become destitute begging for money near traffic signals or dancing at parties, weddings, and social gatherings to get rid of their hunger.

Voice of Transgenders in Pakistansocial rights, employer rights, employee rights

Trans community members gave several interviews. Their responses were quite similar in terms of the inhumane treatment of society. Some of the common issues are:

  • Not granting any social rights.
  • They can not anticipate getting a good job of their interest.
  • Only paid for their performance in stage theaters.
  • Hired for parties organized by locals of different areas.

That is how they are able to survive alongside their other community members. Despite doing everything, men and women beat them alike if they are hesitant or fail to entertain the audience.

The social group does not feel safe even on the roads. Men and women humiliate and torture them. We can judge our own perceptions as soon as we come across a transgender asking for some financial help. The trans community members are experiencing this all the time. Also, this even gets worse in certain areas of Pakistan including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Safeguarding Transgenders Rightscivil rights, human right activist, voice of pakistan

The protection of transgenders from physical violence and abuse is just one step on a long journey. This will change the perception of the general masses regarding this community. The government of Pakistan has also realized the gravity of this menace. Government introduced a bill in the parliament to provide equal rights to the transgender community like any other man or woman.

In addition to this administrative support, Trans Muhafiz a mobile application safeguards transgender rights. It will protect transgenders from physical abuse and violence. The application operates on a one-click alert mechanism. An individual can enter the contact details of one’s closest social circle. In case a person feels threatened by confronting a mob, one click on the application will send an alert call. It will message all those contacts you have entered in the mobile app.

In addition, it will also send details of your exact coordinates. So your close ones can locate you in case of an attack. Though the app is a good initiative by developers to ensure that people can be caught well in time before they could inflict any pain on the transgender community. Still, we all need to change our perspectives regarding this minority group and accept their natural existence.

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