Being a transgender means a lot of challenges in your way. The transgender community, specifically in Pakistan, has been facing inequality, humiliation and harassment on a daily basis. There are more than 1 million transgender people living in Pakistan. The struggles of Transgender in Pakistan are largely invisible due to a portion of the population who are unaware of gender diversity and hence, they are failed to recognize the rights of transgender. The trans community is looked down upon wherever they go, be it hospitals, schools or even in the markets.
2018 has been a great year for Transgender in Pakistan in terms of recognition of their rights. Many NGOs, Government and private organizations have stepped forward and took initiative for the betterment of trans community by including them in education and offices, giving them healthcare services and a right to register their NIC. They’ll also be able to cast their votes just like any other Pakistani. It is indeed a great step but still, there are many loopholes due to which trans community is facing difficulties.
“The life of every transgender is full of challenges. Everyone degrades you, hoots and catcalls when you pass by. I didn’t get admission in a girl’s college during my intermediate, so I had to get admission in a boy’s college. I always had to cover my long hair with a cap and everyone used to poke fun at me. The same happened later at my university, people used to mock me and make fun of me, but it had become a part of my daily life, so it didn’t bother me much.” – says Marvia Malik, Pakistan’s first transgender anchorperson
On the other hand, there is no advancement in healthcare system for trans community yet. At hospitals or clinics, transgender patients are often turned away, harassed or mocked. Access to basic healthcare is a continuous struggle for them. This is mainly due to widespread stigmatization attached to the trans community in the country. Also, many healthcare professionals lack experience to deal with a different gender which according to them is not “normal”.
While there are many student groups and institutes which are leading the way on transgender rights, there is one organization named “Transparent Hands” which has taken the initiative to provide basic healthcare facilities to trans community for free. Transparent Hands started its journey in 2014 and till now, it has provided free medical and surgical treatment to more than 14,000 people across Pakistan. The organization has only one motto “healthcare without discrimination”. Transparent Hands has reached out to thousands of people country-wide and catered to their healthcare needs regardless of their gender, caste or religion.
ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE IS THEIR RIGHT TOO!
This time again, Transparent Hands is going to set up a “FREE MEDICAL CAMP FOR TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY” for the first time in Lahore. The organization feels proud to break the stigma attached with transgender people and provide them basic healthcare services. Transparent Hands is going to conduct free medical camp where it is going to provide free consultation, free medicines, free diagnostic test facility to each transgender person in need. The team of Transparent Hands will also register those transgender people who require surgery or medical procedure and bear the cost of their treatment.
“Rights of trans community are often ignored in our society. Sadly, they are not given any opportunity to work for their living which puts many transgender people in a situation where they have to sell their bodies to earn money to survive. Not many people want to work alongside transgender in offices or want their children to study with a transgender’s child. Specifically, in the healthcare sector, trans people are left to suffer until they die. I’m extremely glad that we’re able to something for them. It’s just the beginning. We are going to set up more medical camps not only for transgender community but for minorities as well. We believe in providing healthcare without discrimination to anyone in need. We are here to transform their lives and we’ll succeed in our mission only with your support. I request you to come forward for our transgender community and join us in this cause. Access to Healthcare is their right too. Let each and every transgender’s voice be heard!” – said Rameeza Mueen, CEO Transparent Hands
While bills have been passed to give trans community their rights in every field, there is still a long way to go. Unfortunately, change cannot come too soon for them unless we change our mindset and become more positive towards gender diversity. Transparent Hands organization is indeed doing a tremendous job to support and advocate for trans community but this shouldn’t end here. We need each one of you to come forward and create awareness about transgender rights and ensure that they have an equal chance to succeed and thrive.
Transgender rights are human rights. Don’t discriminate!
SAY NO TO HATE. SUPPORT THEM.