PESHAWAR: The draft of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Transgender and Intersex Protection Policy proposes the allocation of two per cent local government seats for transgender people to increase their political visibility.
The policy’s draft was submitted earlier this week to the K-P government by Blue Veins and TransAction (the provincial alliance of transgender and intersex community).
Offering clear definitions for the two terms, the policy draft – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune – states, “Transgender is an umbrella term to describe people whose gender identity and expression does not conform to the norms and expectations traditionally associated with their sex at birth, while the intersex person is born with sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, and/or chromosome patterns that do not fit the typical definition of male or female. This may be apparent at birth or become so later in life.”
The policy envisions an end to the social stigma attached to the transgender and intersex community and ensuring that there is no discrimination towards them in all spheres of life.
It aims to enforce the constitutional rights of the transgender and intersex commpolicy envisions an end to the social stigma attached to the transgender and intersex community policy envisions an end to the social stigma attached to the transgender and intersex community unity taking into account the Supreme Court judgement (2009) and other court directions, the document states.
The policy suggests that two per cent of seats should be reserved for the transgender community in the local government set-up to empower them in the province, while the government should ensure that they are represented both on the local and provincial levels.
Furthermore, the registration of transgender people in the electoral system must be ensured so that they could participate in elections.
The policy also calls for greater involvement of political parties in ensuring that that they fix quotas for transgender representatives, and for the Election Commission of Pakistan to make it mandatory for them to do so.
Qamar Naseem, who drafted the policy and is a member of the Chief Minister’s Special Committee on the Rights of Transgender Persons, told The Express Tribune that if enacted, K-P would be the first province to have such policy to empower the transgender population of the country.
“The enactment of this policy would bring K-P more in line with international best practices for legal gender recognition,” said Naseem. “The comprehensive policy covers all aspects of life in the transgender community from health issues and education to public places and political participation.”
The policy document states that transgender and intersex individuals often face discrimination, bullying, abuse and harassment while using public transport and while heading to gender-segregated public places like airports, railway stations and bus stations where they are never sure which queue to stand in or which restroom to use.
The provincial government should ensure that public transportation and public places are transgender-friendly and laws be enacted to prohibit any discriminatory treatment which makes these places inaccessible for transgenders.
“All new public transportation schemes like Bus Rapid Transit System shall be ensured by the provincial government that it should be transgender-friendly so that they could use it,” the draft of the policy read.”Seats may be reserved for transgenders like they are for women.”
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