- Title: PAKISTAN: Transgender community demand jobs
- Date: 10th December 2010
- Summary: LAHORE, PAKISTAN (DECEMBER 9, 2010) (REUTERS) WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE BY TRANSVESTITES VARIOUS OF TRANSGENDER PERSONS HOLDING NEWS CONFERENCE TRANSVESTITE SPEAKING JOURNALISTS TRANSVESTITES (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) NAUSHI, TRANSVESTITE, SAYING: "We should be accommodated to jobs in the institutions where other people (men and women) are employed. We should not be ignored. They should train some of us to different skills, and the other who are educated among us, should be absorbed in (white collar) jobs." VARIOUS OF TRANSVESTITES LISTENING TO QUESTIONS FROM JOURNALISTS VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS TRANSVESTITES SPEAKING
- Embargoed: 25th December 2010 12:00
- Location: Pakistan, Pakistan
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA2OO5KVGJPTSC2W15QXTNP1LXR
- Story Text: With support from non-governmental organisations and platforms, Pakistani transvestites are organising to demand jobs, protection and entitlement, community leaders told a news conference on Thursday (December 9).
The news conference, attended by representatives of the community from across the country, was organized by a group called "Alliance for transvestite rights Pakistan"
Transvestites, eunuchs and hermaphrodites are known by the terms "hijra" or "khusra" and are generally shunned in conservative Muslim Pakistan.
They often live together in slum communities and survive by begging and dancing at carnivals and weddings. Some are also involved in prostitution.
Pakistan's Supreme Court in last December ordered authorities to allow transvestites and eunuchs to identify themselves as a distinct gender, part of a move to ensure rights in a country where homosexuality and transexuality issues are taboo.
"We should be accommodated to jobs in the institutions where other people (men and women) are employed. We should not be ignored. They should train some of us to different skills, and the other who are educated among us, should be absorbed in (white collar) jobs," said transvestite Naushi in Lahore, the cultural capital of the country.
The court has also ordered the government to evolve a mechanism to ensure that hijras are not harassed and also take steps to ensure their inheritance rights.
Hijras are often denied places in schools or admittance to hospitals and landlords often refuse to rent or sell property to them. Their families often deny them their fair share of inherited property.
Hijras are both feared and pitied in Pakistan. They are feared for their supposed ability to put curses on people while they are pitied as they are widely viewed as the outcast children of Allah.
The number of hijras in Pakistan is not known but community leaders estimate there are about 300,000 of them.
In June last year, the Supreme Court ordered the government to set up a commission to conduct a census of hijras.
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