What Has Changed For Pakistan’s Transgender Citizens In The Last 10 Years?

Posted by Anas Saleem in Gender & Sexuality, Society
March 27, 2018

Pakistan is one of the most conservative countries in the world concerning its stand on the rights of every male, female or third gender citizen. Pakistan believes that “Transgender Rights are also Human Rights.”

Let’s see what Pakistan has done for transgender rights in the past few years.

2009

In 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the government to conduct a census of hijras living in the country. Earlier that year, local police had allegedly attacked, robbed and raped eight hijra wedding dancers near Islamabad. That traumatic event led Muhammed Aslam Khaki, a lawyer specialising in Islamic law, to file a private case in the country’s Supreme Court, asking to recognize hijras as a third gender. At the end of 2009, the chief justice of Pakistan ordered the National Database and Registration Authority to issue national identity cards with a “third gender” category for non-binary citizens.

2010

Sarah Gill became the first transgender doctor in Pakistan. She also started an NGO called Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA) for equality and the rights of the transgender community.

Sarah Gill speaks during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in December. Photo by Vincenzo Floramo/Aljazeera.

2012

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) of Pakistan issued national identification cards to members who identified as a part of the third gender society. They were provided their cards free of charge along with a mobile van service to register at their chosen location.

Transgender Community celebrates CNICs & Voter Registration. Photo: AFP/File

2013

Bindia Rana becomes the first Pakistani to contest for a seat in the Provincial Assembly.

2016

Kami Sid joins Pakistan fashion community as the first transgender model. Kami has spoken at several events, been interviewed many times, and was featured in the BBC documentary, “How Gay Is Pakistan?”

Pakistan’s first transgender model. Photo by Muhammad Haseeb Siddique.

2017

Aisha Mughal becomes the first transgender person to be appointed as a lecturer in the Quaid-e-Azam University.

Aisha Mughal first transgender lecturer teaching at a local university.

2017

Pakistan issues the first-ever passport with the gender marked as X. Now, it will be easy to symbolise the third sex printed under the gender category in travel documents.

A woman shows her passport.

2018

Pakistan issues the first driving licenses to transgenders, thereby making history. After getting the first-ever driving licence (issued to a transgender person) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Farzana said that this development will pave the way for transgender persons to earn a respectable livelihood.

SSP Traffic Yasir Khan Afridi hands over traffic licenses to 15 transgenders. Ali Akbar/Dawn

2018

A local news channel in Pakistan hired a transgender as news anchor making history in Pakistani Media Industry. The owner of the private news channel says that Marvia was selected on merit, not on any gender issues.

Marvia Malik, a 21-year-old transgender from Lahore has instantly been turned into a celebrity as news of her employment spread on social media. Marvia’s incredible success story has been celebrated by celebrities, journalists and activists from all over Pakistan who were quick to praise her on social media.

21 Years Old Marvia Malik as News Caster. Photo: Kohinoor News