Sindh police to rope in transgenders as officers

02:23 PM | 26 Apr, 2019
Sindh police to rope in transgenders as officers
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KARACHI - Transgender community will now be able to serve in Sindh Police as regular duty officers. Inspector General of Sindh Police , Syed Kaleem Imam, said that it is time to provide more opportunities to a group that is limited to performing menial jobs in government.

The transgender community first got their due in 2009 after years of discrimination and persecution when the Supreme Court granted them special status with equal rights as that of other citizens.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan also ruled that transgender individuals can receive national identity cards as ‘third sex’. However, the discrimination prevailed even after that historic verdict.

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Imam said that transgender people are God-gifted and citizens like us. “We should stand by them,” he said. The transgender community has been facing widespread discrimination for decades in Pakistan , Bangladesh, and India. A majority is forced to live in seclusion and make ends meet by dancing, begging, or sex work.

According to the 2017 census, 10,418 transgender individuals are living in Pakistan . However, the rights group Charity Trans Action Pakistan states that there are at least 500,000.

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

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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

This is not the first time the transgender community in Pakistan will be getting the attention they deserve by the government of Pakistan . Last year in April, Pakistan had launched the first school for transgender persons in an Islamic state.

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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.

Also in 2017, the first passport having a transgender category was issued. Over the past few years, some transgender individuals have made it to relatively cognizable professions like fashion models or news anchors. Now, they can work in the police force too and it is a big development for the community.