It will soon be illegal in Pakistan to discriminate against a trans person.
Two Bills were introduced in the National Assembly this week. One Bill would amend sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2017 was also introduced.
The Bills will cast a wider net on the definition of a trans person. Dawn reports the definition will include ‘any person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the society norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth’.
It will soon be a criminal act to prevent trans people from inheriting property, denying them education and unlawfully evicting them from any kind of premise.
Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill will reinforce trans rights including officially recognizing a person’s gender identity the way they want it recognized. The Bill also calls for anti-discrimination and harassment laws.
The protection Bill will also seek to rectify laws that prohibit trans people basic rights such; holding public office and voting rights.
Supreme Court ruling
The only legal rulings around the rights of trans people came from the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2011. It ruled that passports and computerised national identity cards (CNICs) should include a column for trans people.
In Janaury this year the Lahore High Court ordered the government to include trans people on the national census.