KARACHI: In a historic move, the Sindh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a law fixing half per cent quota for transgender persons at public sector institutions in the province.

Presenting “The Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2021”, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that after the enactment of the law, Sindh would be first province to give jobs to transgender persons.

“At this stage, it’s just a beginning as only 0.5 per cent quota has been fixed for transgender persons. We will ensure this quota is implemented not only in the government sector but also in the private sector,” he added.

The bill’s statement and objects read: “The transgender [persons] are marginalised and vulnerable segment of our society. The history of transgender community in Pakistan is fraught with violence, socio-political exclusion, economic inequality/insecurity and emotional insensitivity. In this respect, it is to empower and include such a vulnerable and weak community in the mainstream of the society and for this purpose, it has been decided by the Government of Sindh to reserve 0.5pc quota for transgenders, hence it is expedient to amend the Sindh Civil Servants Act, 1973.”

The parliamentary affairs minister said the Sindh government had already fixed five per cent quota each for minorities and persons with disabilities.

As per the 2017 Census, there are total 10,418 transgender persons in the country. The second highest population of transgender people is in Sindh — 2,527 or 24pc — while Punjab stood first with 64.4pc of the country’s transgender population or 6,709 people registered in the category.

However, rights group Charity Trans Action Pakistan estimates that there are at least 500,000 transgender people across the country.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022

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