Eunuch Shahana Abbas Shani announced her intention to contest elections as an independent candidate from the PP-254 provincial assembly constituency in Muzaffargarh.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Shani said that she had taken the decision to raise the concerns of the transgender community in the assemblies. “Now that the Supreme Court has allowed us to have an identity card; we will fight for our rights. There is no other way to effectively address the concerns of the third gender without our having representation in Parliament,” she said.
“I hope to stand and serve as a representative of all under represented communities in our society,” she added. Shani said that legislation should be drafted for the transgender community and that eunuchs should be provided reserved seats in the national assembly.
“If women and minorities can be provided with reserved seats in the constitution of Pakistan, then we also have the right to representation in the assemblies,” she added. Earlier this month, several transgender groups protested in Multan against the NATO attack and the killing of army personnel of Pakistan.
They burnt a puppet of US President Obama and raised slogans against US forces. “We are just as involved in the politics of this country as anyone else. This is our land too and we have a right to stand for its concerns,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2011.
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