Friday Nov 27, 2020
PESHAWAR: A resolution demanding transgender people be allowed to perform Hajj and Umrah — two major Islamic pilgrimages — in Saudi Arabia was submitted Friday in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
According to the resolution submitted by PPP lawmaker Nighat Yasmin Orakzai to the KP Assembly's secretariat, the Pakistani government should request Saudi Arabia to allow transgender people to perform the Islamic pilgrimages.
The resolution further calls for right to inheritance for the transgender community as they, too, "are citizens of Pakistan".
"The transgender community is also part of the [Pakistani] society; therefore, their identity cards should be included in the inheritance law," the resolution demanded.
Back in 2018, Pakistan had passed a landmark transgender rights bill for the community's protection, allowing them fundamental rights, prohibiting gender-based discrimination, and letting them choose their gender on official documents.
Earlier this year, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Social Welfare Department had proposed a new policy for the transgender community, noting that advice had been sought from relevant stakeholders and approval from the provincial cabinet awaited.
The new policy formulated for transgender rights focuses on various aspects, including education opportunities, medical treatment, and job quotas. The document proposed a 2% quota in government jobs for the transgender community and recommended setting up separate schools and vocational centres at divisional headquarters.
Quotas should also be allocated for transgender individuals in government housing schemes, it had read, noting that members of the community would have the right to vote, run in elections, and hold public offices.
That document also made a recommendation for transgender individuals to receive unemployment and health insurance, as well as hardship grants, and a plan was to be prepared to provide a sum of Rs2,000-3,000 per month to unemployed transgender individuals over the age of 50.
The transgender persons would also be provided medical treatment, including protection against AIDS, as well as new gender reassignment facilities, the proposed policy had demanded.