Pakistani Law Passes Landmark Transgender Rights Bill, Gives Them Fundamental Rights
Transgenders in Pakistan (Photo credits: Twitter/SBS Sexuality)

The Pakistani parliament has passed a historic decision regarding the transgender community in the country. A bill has been passed which promises basic fundamental rights to the people of the third gender. Majority of the Islamabad's National Assembly voted in favour of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act on May 9.

The newly passed law now gives the transgenders here their long-due rights. The act criminalises discrimination against and harassment of transgenders at work, home or in public places. Transgenders can identify themselves in any gender- male, female or the third sex on all the official documents including their passports or driver's licenses. Although the act has been passed it has to be approved by the Pakistani president Mamnoon Hussain. Maavia Malik Scripts History! Becomes First Transgender News Anchor in Pakistan

There have been a lot of instances of discrimination of the transgenders, some of them going till the extent of murder and forced sex. Now with the new law the people of the community will also ensure safe houses, medical care and also counselling. "I thought that this would never be achieved in my lifetime, but I am fortunate to have seen my own parliament pass this bill," veteran transgender activist Bindiya Rana told Al Jazeera. “Transgender people constitute one of the most marginalized communities in the country and they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on," the bill reads.

Not exact figures but there is an estimate that there are at least 500,000 in the country. There has been extreme discrimination against them and they are left to do begging and dancing as a source of money. The new law also criminalises all discrimination in public transports to even doctor's clinic. The passing of the bill makes Pakistan one of the few countries in the world to recognize the self-perceived gender identity of transgenders. It is sure a historic one and gives new hope to the people who had been discriminated against for so long.