The transgender community of Pakistan on 28 June 2017, welcomed the decision of the government to issue its first passport with a transgender category – an important milestone in the struggle against discrimination their kind.
The government of Pakistan has taken the decision to start issuing passports with a separate gender category (X) for transgender citizens. Now the natives of Pakistan will be able to self-identify with the separate option, instead of just identifying with male or female sex.
Pakistan, being one of the most conservative countries in the world, issued a passport to prominent transgender activist Farzana Jan with an “X” gender category to symbolise her transgender orientation.
Jan is President of the charity Trans Action Alliance, and is the first transgender person to carry legally carry the identity.
Trans Action Pakistan, an advocacy organisation for Pakistan’s transgender community also shared a post on its Facebook page on the same.
ANOTHER MILESTONE ACHIEVEDAfter a long struggle we are able to make another change. Now the the Govt of Pakistan is…
As reported by Reuters, Jan said that they have been facing many problems with complications in travel documents and were deprived of their true identity, but they are now relieved with the recognition of the transgender community.
In 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan decided to recognise the basic rights of the transgender community by issuing them national identity cards as the “third sex.” Equal rights for transgender people, including the right to inherit property and assets, the right to vote and to be counted as a separate category in the country’s national census was also declared.
According to Al Jazeera, Pakistan started allowing members of the trans community to identify themselves. Also, a new mosque inclusive of people with all gender and sexual identities will be constructed in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.
Other countries that have recognised Transgenders as a separate sex
Apart from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Germany, New Zealand, and Nepal have allowed the “X” gender category on passports without providing the official medical documents.
The number of transgender people in India is five to six million, and only 10% of them identified as such. In 2009, the nation’s election authorities decided to formally allow an independent designation for transgender voters.
According to the national statistics of Bangladesh, the country has a population of 10,000 transgender people at present. Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, had announced the decision of recognising transgender category in all national documents and passports.
In 2011, Nepal led the way in South Asia and introduced a third gender category on its passports.
In 2013, Germany also became the first European country to officially recognise a “third gender” category.
The Logical Indian community welcomes the move by the Pakistani government. In a country where citizens are subject to violence, mainly due to terrorism, and discrimination, recognising transgenders as a separate sex is progressive. We hope more such initiatives across the world are undertaken.