LAHORE: Transgender people suffer the worst kind of oppression in our society. They’re abandoned by their families and neglected by state institutions. These views were expressed at a press conference held on Saturday to condemn the killing of Alisha, a transgender rights activist, in Peshawar.
The press conference was arranged by the South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP Pk).
Speakers asked the government to ensure that as citizens of the country all constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights were available to the transgender people. They stressed the need to raise awareness about the plight of the transgender people. They said there was a common misconception that transgender people either made a living in careers associated with music and dance or from beggary.
The speakers said timely provision of medical treatment could have saved Alisha’s life. They said media reports suggested that instead of providing emergency medical care to the activists for her injuries suffered in a gun attack the hospital administration had wasted time in deciding whether to refer her to a male or a female ward. This was condemnable, they added.
The speakers said that the transgender community was discriminated against in the provision of basic services like education and health as well as in the jobs market. They called upon the authorities concerned to ensure strict action against those involved in the attacking the deceased activist.
The press conference was addressed by SAP Pakistan director Muhammad Tahseen, deputy director Irfan Mufti, PTI MPA Shanila Ruth and Mehnaz Rafi.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2016.
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