Bill to amend the 2018 Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act discussed in the Senate House
Pakistan & Human Rights
Global Human Rights Defence
On Monday, due to a controversy raising over the 2018 Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, a bill seeking amendments to the legislation was introduced in the Senate House (Alvi, 2022). The main objective of the existing transgender legislation is to ensure the provision of rights for transgender to own and inherit property, acquire education and employment, vote freely, hold public office, assemble peacefully for any lawful purpose, access to public spaces and ensure the fulfilment of fundamental rights (Alvi, 2022). The proposed bill is supposed to fill any gaps and make the transgender legislation more effective and worthwhile for the protection and insurance of the rights of transgender (Alvi, 2022).
The bill, moved by Senator Fawzia Arshad of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, aims at reducing the suffering, improving living standards and bringing reform to the lives of the deprived transgender community (Alvi, 2022). Specifically, the bill seeks amendments in the definitions of “gender expression” and “gender identity” as well as it proposes to delete sub-section four from section three stating that a transgender person who has already been issued a computerised national identity card (CNIC) by the Nadra shall be allowed to change the name and gender based on his or her self-perceived identity on the CNIC, child registration certificate, driving license and passport in line with the Nadra Ordinance of 2000 (Alvi, 2022). Moreover, a piece of the bill seeks amendments in sections seven and eight relating to the share of the inheritance and the right to education (Alvi, 2022).
Finally, the Senate House stated that various loopholes and voids had been observed in the existing transgender legislation which needs to be addressed (Alvi, 2022). In addition, the Senate House found that the Transgender Act is not in conformity with the principles and rules developed under the Sharia for dealing with issues related to transgender in a Muslim society (Alvi, 2022). Therefore, the Senate House concluded that amendments to the existing transgender legislation are necessary (Alvi, 2022).
Sources and further reading:
Alvi, M. (2022, September 27). Transgender
persons bill tabled in Senate. The News International. Retrieved September
27, 2022, from https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/995035-transgender-persons-bill-tabled-in-senate