The Transgender Persons Bill was introduced to Pakistan’s Parliament on Tuesday in an effort to provide equal protection to transgender people.
The bill states that “transgender persons constitute one of the most marginalised and disadvantaged communities in the country. They face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of protection in their family, community and the society.” It also cited the Pakistani Constitution which guarantees “fundamental rights to life of liberty” as well as a “protection of property” and “safeguard against discrimination in service.”
“There is a need to safeguarded rights of transgenders at par with other citizens and residents of the country,” the bill’s author, Naeema Kishwar, stated according to the Hindu.
It also cited the 2009 Supreme Court ruling saying that no Pakistani law can take away the fundamental rights of an eunuch, which is a castrated man. The bill seeks to stop the atrocities it alleges have been occurring for years against trans people in Pakistan.
The bill does not state whether men who want to be female or are undergoing the transition to become female would have to cover their heads or faces with a veil. Pakistani culture insists that women wear hijabs, and it is still routine to wear niqabs and burqas.
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