Senate passes bill to safeguard transgender rights

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017, empowering them to be recognised as they perceive themselves.

The bill, jointly sponsored by Karim Ahmed Khawaja, Rubina Khalid, Rubina Irfan, Samina Saeed and Kasloom Perveen, aims at protection, relief and rehabilitation of the rights of the transgender people besides ensuring their welfare.

The bill will enable the transgender people to decide their own identity as well as get themselves registered with the government offices as a transgender.

Under the proposed law, they will not need to appear before a medical board to determine their gender,” Chairperson of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights Senator Nasreen Jalil said. “This marginalised community is against the idea of setting up a medical board to ascertain their gender fearing that they might be subjected to embarrassment and harassment. The bill protects transgender persons and prohibits attack on their self-esteem and mistreatment,” she added. Under the proposed law, the transgender persons will also be able to register to obtain a driver’s licence as well as passport.

Published in Daily Times, March 8th 2018.