Tribune Take: Transgenders in politics, a good thing

Published: December 29, 2011

In today’s episode of the Tribune Take, we take a look at the issues the transgender community in Pakistan faces and how they are progressing.

Samia Saleem, The Express Tribune reporter in Karachi, says that Shahana Abbas Shani’s decision to contest elections is a great step in terms of rights for the transgender community in Pakistan.

She says that  the community has started to stand up for their own rights and are now taking steps to safeguard their own interests.

Shahana Abbas Shani, President of She-male Association, had earlier announced that she will contest elections as an independent candidate for Muzaffargarh PP-254 constituency of the provincial assembly. Shani had said that she had made this decision because she wanted to discuss problems faced by her community in the assembly.

Read Samia Saleem’s articles here.

The Tribune Take daily news web show will appear on the home page.

The Take will feature in-depth interviews and analysis with editors and reporters who are covering the major stories, exploring front page events and major ledes. The news analysis covers the way The Express Tribune examines a story, how we cover it and why.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Ms Marium
    Dec 30, 2011 - 12:31AM

    @Samia There are not just 50,000 trangenders in our country – there population is around 800,000 ..


  • Anonymous
    Dec 30, 2011 - 1:01AM

    That is a great step…kudos!


  • Dec 30, 2011 - 10:57AM

    I can hear a million aunties going “haye haye” and creepy uncles going “qiyamat ka waqt kareeb hei”. I would like to hear about what initiatives Shani will take to curb prostitution in her community, as begging and prostitution would be their two major vices. With proper jobs made available for them (Thailand as a great example), this can stop and societal attitudes can change, over time of course.


  • Naveed Salman
    Dec 31, 2011 - 1:12AM

    A step in right direction. Discrimination against transgenders will not end so soon, but any such step that gives them recognition and integrates them in our society should be applauded.
    It is high time now that all Pakistanis start accepting transgenders for what they are. They didn’t chose to be transgenders so they should not be punished for what nature has bestowed on them.


  • Naveed Salman
    Jan 1, 2012 - 5:21PM

    While transgender people do make the choice to change how they look in terms of male or female, the fact that they feel that way is not a choice. Being trans is also not an arbitrary decision. People who are transgender are born that way and realize their difference in gender from a very young age, although many can and do suppress it in an attempt to fit it.

    Science has proven that transgender and transsexual people have a neurological intersex condition, meaning their brain sex does does not fully or completely match up to their physical sex. This is possible because we all spend the first eight weeks of prenatal development as a female. Around that time is when androgens kick in for males and start masculinizing the body. However, for reasons undetermined, the masculinization can affect the body but have no or only a partial effect on the brain, or vice versa.

    All I can say is that you haven’t walked in a transgenders shoes, so don’t be so quick to judge and try thinking from the perspective of a transgender.


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