Pakistan opens first public school for transgender persons in Lodhran

04:02 PM | 21 Feb, 2019
Pakistan opens first public school for transgender persons in Lodhran

LAHORE – The Punjab government has established a school for transgender persons in Lodhran city under its Literacy Department, the spokesperson of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced on Thursday

Dr Shahbaz Gill also shared a video from the classroom of first government-run facility for transgender students on Twitter.

Last year in April, Pakistan had launched the first school for transgender persons in any Islamic state.

Asif Shahzad, the founder of The Gender Guardian, said that the school in Lahore having a faculty of 15 members, was imparting education to around 40 students of the transgender community.

The brainchild of non-governmental organisation Exploring Future Foundation (EFF) also offers vocational training focusing on fashion, beauty as well as graphic design.

“We will be providing skill-based training and curriculum to the transgender community that has enrolled with us,” said EFF managing director Moizzah Tariq.

There is no age limit for admission in The Gender Guardian, located in Lahore’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

With an aim to provide 12 years of academic education (from primary level to higher secondary level), the Foundation plans to open two more schools for transgender community in Karachi and Islamabad soon.

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Access to education is the right of every person but unfortunately transgender people face discrimination in Pakistan and many struggle to find employment. Some are forced into begging, dancing or prostitution to earn money.

Punjab province has 64.4 per cent of the country’s transgender population with 6,709 people registered in the category.

However, official sources from social welfare department said that Lahore and its adjoining areas had a population of roughly 30,000 transgender people.

The country’s Senate had unanimously approved a bill on March 7, 2018 for the protection of rights of transgender people, empowering them to determine their own gender identity.

Also last year, a Pakistani news channel hired the country's first transgender TV newsreader.

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