June 7, 2017

History & Background

BACKGROUND

Transgender and intersex persons in Pakistan face violence and inequality – and often torture, even execution – because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. In Pakistan, the transgender and intersex community is the most vulnerable and socially isolated community which come from a wide range of geographic and demo-graphic backgrounds. Transgender and other gender minority people are diverse in such factors as age, race, ethnicity, religion, income, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and refugee status. Despite their differences, gender and sexual minority people from all back grounds face common experiences of discrimination just because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It is an unfortunate fact that transgender and intersex people specially those who are visibly gender non-conforming, are more likely to experience violence in the home, on the streets, and in all settings which provide service delivery like access to health, education, housing, livelihood and protection.

Transgender and intersex persons do not have the same level of rights as other Pakistanis and are routinely harassed, discriminated, and are subjected to violence, living on the margins of the society as entertainers, beggars and sex workers. Abuses identified by UN Special Procedures towards transgender and intersex people include, attacks on peaceful transgender persons, transgender persons are often beaten by the police for no reason, burnt with cigarettes and raped, as well as and discrimination in accessing economic, social, and cultural rights such as education, health care and housing. Recent gains for Pakistan's transgender community include a ruling by the Supreme Court to allow a third gender category on national identity cards, a legal share of family inheritance, a reserved 2% quota of jobs in all sectors and the right to vote in elections.

It's unfortunate that even after Supreme Court ruling, there is no effort by legislative bodies to bring a comprehensive law to protect the rights of transgender persons. Not much has changed in practice, and discrimination persists. Though sexual orientation and gender identity are sensitive subjects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the life is defined by strict tribal values and religious beliefs, there is a need to speak out because lives and their rights are at stake.

HISTORY

Transgender and intersex persons in Pakistan face violence and inequality – and often torture, even execution – because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. In Pakistan, the transgender and intersex community is the most vulnerable and socially isolated community which come from a wide range of geographic and demo-graphic backgrounds. Transgender and other gender minority people are diverse in such factors as age, race, ethnicity, religion, income, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and refugee status. Despite their differences, gender and sexual minority people from all back grounds face common experiences of discrimination just because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It is an unfortunate fact that transgender and intersex people specially those who are visibly gender non-conforming, are more likely to experience violence in the home, on the streets, and in all settings which provide service delivery like access to health, education, housing, livelihood and protection.

Transgender and intersex persons do not have the same level of rights as other Pakistanis and are routinely harassed, discriminated, and are subjected to violence, living on the margins of the society as entertainers, beggars and sex workers. Abuses identified by UN Special Procedures towards transgender and intersex people include, attacks on peaceful transgender persons, transgender persons are often beaten by the police for no reason, burnt with cigarettes and raped, as well as and discrimination in accessing economic, social, and cultural rights such as education, health care and housing. Recent gains for Pakistan's transgender community include a ruling by the Supreme Court to allow a third gender category on national identity cards, a legal share of family inheritance, a reserved 2% quota of jobs in all sectors and the right to vote in elections.

It's unfortunate that even after Supreme Court ruling, there is no effort by legislative bodies to bring a comprehensive law to protect the rights of transgender persons. Not much has changed in practice, and discrimination persists. Though sexual orientation and gender identity are sensitive subjects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where the life is defined by strict tribal values and religious beliefs, there is a need to speak out because lives and their rights are at stake.

TransAction was founded in 2015 by Pakhtun transgender and intersex activist to focus on transgender and intersex issues in disadvantaged communities Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). TransAction strives to support transgender and intersex individuals through providing safe spaces for them. We strive to raise awareness through education and training to the transgender and intersex community, their families and general society, keeping in mind the languages and cultural contexts.

We seek to promote understanding and acceptance, both legally and socially, of transgender persons. The alliance is devoted to "overcoming the intolerance of transvestitism and transsexualism brought about by widespread ignorance." TransAction Pakistan is a network with both a local and national focus, made up of transgender and intersex activist whose main aim is to promote the healthy development of trans and intersex people through the delivery of a wide range of information, promotion, outreach in education and capacity-building, allowing the creation of a safe and productive environment for them.

TransAction is aware and recognizes the multitude of challenges that transgender and intersex people have in accessing services, we aim to hold Govt and private institutions accountable, and ensure that they provide basic services to all individuals, without discrimination, and uphold the rights of citizens as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. We also endeavor to work with organizations with similar goals to make a more significant impact in terms of trans issues in the country and on continent as a whole.