Civil Rights Advancement in Pakistan

Last month marked a positive milestone in Pakistan’s civil rights legislations. Transgendered citizens, known as hijra or eunuchs, were allowed for the first time identify themselves as transgendered when registering to vote.

The new legislation came after a much debated constitutional case in 2008 regarding the humiliation and ill treatment of transgendered persons in Pakistan. The case has proceeded over a span of 20 hearings. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in addition to creating a column on national registration cards that lists and option for sex as “she-male,” has ruled that parents abandoning transgender children, and gurus forcing them into prostitution, will face criminal charges. The court also specified that transgendered persons must be treated the same as other citizens, their inheritance and rights must be safeguarded. Continue reading