PESHAWAR, 23 August: Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly Nighat Yasmeen Orkazai on Wednesday submitted a resolution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for protection of the rights of transgender under Article 144 of the Constitution.
Senator Rubina Khalid, Chairperson of National Taskforce on Rights of Transgender Persons and mover of a similar bill in Senate and Nighat Yaseemn Orkazi mover of the resolution in KP Assembly along with President TransAction Farzana Jan and Program Coordinator Blue Veins Qamar Naseem addressed a joint press conference organized by Blue Veins Community at Peshawar Press Club.
The media was briefed about the two bills The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill jointly submitted in senate by Senator Rubina Khalid (PPPP), Senator Kulsoom Parveen (PML-N), Senator Rubina Irfan (PML(Q) and senator Samina Abid (PTI) and also moved in National Assembly by Naeema Kishwar of JUI(F) and The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which has been moved jointly by Senator Farhat Ullah Baber and Senator Rubina Khalid and both bills are now referred to the relevant committees Senate for review and endorsement.
Both bills are the outcome of a series of long and broad-based consultations with stakeholders, particularly representatives from the transgender community from across the country by National Commission of Human Rights (NCHR) and National Taskforce constituted by the office of the Federal Ombudsperson, it was informed.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill covers various issues, including inheritance rights, the right to education, employment, voting, holding public office, health, assembly, access to public places, property, and fundamental rights. While the criminal law amendment bill proposes action against the abduction of transgender people, sexual assault and assault or criminal force with intent to outrage their modesty.
The bill also proposed strict action against the buying and selling of transgender individuals for prostitution, and against rape.
Senator Rubina Khalid Chairperson of the National Taskforce on rights of the transgender persons emphasized to sensitize political parties, media and general masses on the importance of the legislations.
She also called for continue efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination against transgender through awareness, psychosocial and legal support and improving the legal environment for them in Pakistan as chairperson of the National Task Force.
Nighat Yasmeen Orakzai Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) said the state should have to take appropriate measures to guarantee the full legal recognition of a persons gender reassignment in all areas of life, adding the proposed legislations will address the systemic discrimination that transgender people face every day, and will give them space to exist on an equal footing.
Qamar Naseem program Coordinator Blue Veins and member of the National taskforce said the two proposed legislations can change the entire scenario of transgender rights in Pakistan.
Farzana Jan President of TransAction Alliance said transgender students experience resentment, prejudice, and threatening environments at schools, which lead to significant drop-out rates, with few trans people advancing to higher education.