Pakistan

Senate to take up changes in Transgender Persons Act on Sept 26


The Senate will take up the Intersex Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill 2022, which aims to make changes in the existing Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018, on Monday (September 26).

The bill stipulated that intersex persons would have the right to receive education, healthcare, employment and other opportunities as enjoyed by the normal human beings in the society.

It has been argued in the bill that the primary objective of this Act should have been to protect the rights of “intersex persons”.

Intersex person generally means a person with ambiguous genitalia and is also known as hermaphrodite. The bill maintained that in the 2018 Act, there were some provisions that were totally contrary to the country’s traditions, religion and even the Constitution.

Read more: Trans people decry objections to rights bill

The amendment bill has been designed to cater to the needs of the intersex persons by deleting all those sections of the 2018 Act that were against the injunctions of Islam and the Constitution.

It has also been elaborated in the bill that the term “transgender” was launched by an American psychiatrist in 1965. It was essentially meant for persons who experienced sexual orientation against their sex at birth.

It argued that this was primarily a disordered mental state where a man might felt like a woman or a woman felt like a man or sometimes even might have “fluid gender perceptions” which was called “non-binary” gender. It was a psychological/psychiatric state of mind and could not be equated to “intersex”.

Therefore, it seeks to change the title of the Act to The Intersex Persons (Protection of Rights) (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The 2018 Act defined the identity of the gender minority, prohibited discrimination against them, and conferred rights upon transgender persons recognised as such and a right to self-perceived gender identity, among other things.

The law ensured issuing of certificate of identity to transgender persons, provided that no establishment shall discriminate against transgender persons in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion and other related issues, and provide for grievance redressal mechanism in each establishment.

Section 3(2) of the Act read that a person recognised as transgender under sub-section (l) shall have a right to get himself or herself registered as per “self-perceived gender” identity with all government departments including, but not limited to, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

The bill to increase the salaries and allowances of the Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker is also included in the agenda of the Senate session.

This bill would be presented by Shibli Faraz, Dilawar Khan and Naseebullah Bazai.

The Immigration Amendment Bill and the Federal Urdu University Amendment Bill would also be presented in the session.

During the sitting, the State Bank amendment and media access for deaf people would be approved.

There would also be a discussion on the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raids and harassment of journalists at Senator Saifullah Niazi’s residence.


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