Mainstreaming The Transgender Community

Pakistan is considered to be unsafe for marginalized groups because of the aggravating discriminatory behavior towards the vulnerable segments of society, and especially towards the transgender community. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 was enacted to ensure the provision of fundamental rights to the transgender community. One of the main pitfalls of this Act is that it does not criminalize the forsaking of a gender-variant child, which makes it a stigma to be a transgender and reinforces trans-phobia. Moreover, socio-cultural barriers keep the trans people away from gender mainstreaming and they continue to be alienated.
Because of the clichéd social status of the trans-people, they are deprived of health, educational and economic rights. To earn their livelihood, most of them resort to beggary, prostitution, dancing etc. They encounter segregation at health centers and educational institutions because of their stigmatized gender identity. The prevailing debilitating milieu vis-à-vis the rights of transgender community depicts the failure of Trans Persons Act just like all others acts and amendments. Human Rights Watch cites a report by local human rights groups according to which 65 transgender women have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan since 2015.
There is a long list of conundrums faced by the trans-segment of society, but this piece is aimed to present suggestions to mitigate those issues.
In order to ensure the mainstreaming of transgender community, provincial and federal governments can enact laws in consultation with the stakeholders of different state institutions. Hate crime laws need to be revised to restrict hate speech against trans-community on mainstream as well as social media.
The trans-people should be given the right to reside with their family and not be segregated because of their variant-gender. The government should legislate policies to obstruct social exclusion of trans-children in the school. Workshops should be organized at sporadic intervals to sensitize people about rights of transgender community.
For employment purposes, the government needs to provide quota seats to trans-people for different jobs, and the implementation of quota system should be strictly checked. Government can also erect vocational centers to hone the skills of this community so they can easily get a job as per their expertise.
For health issues, separate portions should be allocated for the transgender at hospitals so they do not have to face hassle because of their gender. In addition, different programs should be introduced to keep the healthcare personnel abreast of the rights of transgender people so that they may not deem them to be outcasts.
The government should resort to various measures to ensure the inclusion of trans-community in the overall socio-political fabric of society. The process can be started at the primary school level to educate children about gender equality. Furthermore, awareness campaigns on social as well as electronic media can further buoy the status of transgender people in the society. Government and civil society need to work together to ameliorate the situation of gender inclusion.

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