National Journal of Advanced Research
National Journal of Advanced Research
Vol. 5, Issue 2 (2019)

Transgender community in Pakistan: A look into challenges and opportunities

Komal Sabir Dayani, Anmol Minaz, Sarmad Muhammad Soomar, Rabia Salim Rashid, Khadija Shafiq Dossa

Gender is one of the basic elements that socially constructs human personality and identifies one as either man or woman in society. Transgender are the individuals whose gender identity does not match with the sex given at birth. There are at least 35 global cultures that have had representation of transgender individuals. There are number of theories based on cultural, biological, psychological and other medical grounds about why transgender people exists. In Pakistan, they draw their cultural heritage from “khuwajasara” community who guarded the ladies of the harem during the Mughal times. In Pakistan, transgender individuals are forced to set their identity in gender binaries. Failing to do so led them to a number of issues from harassment to lack of education and employment opportunities ultimately leading to increased plight and poor quality of living. While these challenges horrify society and portray how difficult their lives are, there are some great examples of people, who have broken the socially constructed barrier, and are succeeding in life while keeping their identities in existence. Also, few efforts like giving status of third sex in CNIC and reservation of 2% employment quota are being made to increase their visibility. Since current picture of transgender community in Pakistan is full of challenges with few dots of opportunities, pertinent steps, aimed at transgender empowerment and creating awareness in society, should be taken to change this picture.
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