Protesting transvestites seek rights, protection
           
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Bureau Report | 12/10/2015 12:00:00 AM
PESHAWAR: The local transvestites staged a protest camp here on Wednesday to ask the authorities to provide them with their due rights and protection.

Headed by the leader of Shemale Association, the protest camp was visited by the representatives of lawyers, teachers, students and workers of political parties.

The participants of the camp were holding placards and banners, inscribed the slogans in favour of transvestites` demands.

Talking to journalists, a leader of the association said that their population was nowhere on the development and humanitarian agenda of the government. She said that they were deprived of family support, social recognition, education and employment opportunities. A large number oftransvestites often ended up socially marginalized, she added.

`Transvestites are facing discrimination and criminalisation in a variety of settings such as laws, healthcare, education and housing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata,` said the leader of the association.

Qamar Naseem, the programme coordinator of Blue Veins and focal person for MEN UNiTE (Men Against Violence and Abuse Alliance) said on the occasion that it was a disappointment to see that government, UN and NGOs failed to highlight the issues of transvestites during the `16 days of activism to end gender-based violence`.

He said that the strategies to end genderbased violence too often excluded the experiences oftransgender.

`Therefore we are highlighting the disproportionate violence and discrimina-tion that transgender face. We call on the government, UN and NGOs to develop policies that consider the unique needs of this socially excluded population,` he added.

Mr Naseem said that the impact of violence against transgender went beyond the immediate effects of physical attacks.

`They face discrimination and criminalisation in a variety of settings such as laws, healthcare, education and housing in Khyber Palchtunkhwa and Fata,` he added.

Zar Ali Khan, the chairman of Tribal NGOs Consortium (TNC), said that disaster management authorities and UN agencies needed to show sensitivity towards the needs of transvestites as they were equal citizens of the country.

`They are entitled to protection particularly under Articles 4 and 9 of the Constitution,` he added.
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