Article: Pakistani Transgender People Are Running For Parliament

Trans activists take part in a demonstration in Karachi

Cast out, marginalised and even murdered, transgender people in Pakistan used to have to rely on their wits to survive. Now they are running for parliament.

The country is conservative and deeply religious and homosexuality is illegal, but it has nonetheless introduced laws that are at the global forefront of trans rights. Pakistan has officially recognised a third gender since 2009.

Laws were liberalised still further in March of 2018, with a wide-ranging piece of legislation that grants intersex people, eunuchs and trans men and women the option to self-identify their gender on official forms. A person born male can now hold a female passport. This new law lets people self-identify their gender on official documents and offers protection to 13 trans candidates in this week’s election.

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