LAHORE: Transpersons are likely to be given official jobs as the Local Government and Community Development (LG&CD) department has decided to fix their two per cent employment quota in several posts lying vacant in the local governments, councils (Metropolitan / Municipal Corporations, Union Councils etc), the Walled City of Lahore Authority, the Local Government Board and the department for long.
“We have taken a policy decision to allocate a two per cent quota in all vacant posts for transpersons begging at intersections, streets and markets since they have no jobs. We are doing this in line with the Constitution of Pakistan which guarantees equal rights to everyone without any discrimination,” department’s secretary Noorul Amin Mengal told Dawn.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) had recently posted the final results of the 6th Population and Housing Census 2017 on its website, according to which the country’s total population stands at 207.68 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.4 per cent. The population includes 106.018m males, 101.344m females and 321,744 transpersons.
LG&CD dept takes the initiative in line with constitutional guarantee
According to a working paper, the department considers transpersons one of the most underprivileged and neglected communities in Pakistan. And in order to safeguard their rights and to empower them, it is essential to make them part of its workforce. Therefore, like quotas reserved for women (15 per cent), disabled (3 per cent) and minorities (5 per cent), there should be a quota (two per cent) reserved for transpersons also in all formations of the department.
“The department intends to reserve 2% employment quota for the transpersons in its attached departments, autonomous body, authorities and local government institutions,” reads the paper.
It mentions that the WCLA, Local Governments, Local Councils and Directorate General of Local Government has 3,912,836, 70,000 and 1,718 approved sanctioned posts. And a huge number of these (approximately 70 per cent) are lying vacant due to retirement, removal from service, non-recruitment and other factors. Moreover, the LWMC which has thousands of employees is also facing shortage of field officials, mostly the sanitary workers.
The paper reveals that 1,500 posts, as per quota, are likely to be dedicated for transpersons in near future. “It is not necessary to offer them low-grade jobs as we also have some vacant posts of officers for them. So if they (transpersons) see them eligible, they can apply and become officers through a transparent procedure,” the secretary maintained.
Speaking to Dawn, transperson activist Jannat Ali said the 2pc job quota would ensure inclusion of several transpersons in the government departments. “It will motivate the transpersons to play a constructive role in society as some of them have already been working (on an honorary basis) as steering committee members while making legislation on protection of Transgender Rights Act passed in 2018.
“I am an MBA and gold medalist from a leading private sector university. And I am happy that someone has paid attention to our employment issues,” Ali said.
“There should also be flexible criteria to apply for us since many transpersons are overage now,” he demanded.
Ali also revealed that some of them had not yet applied for their identity cards due to various issues (entry of names missing in family record, ownership issue on the part of family etc).
Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2021