Social inclusion – 17 Jul 2022
At least six seats will be reserved in both categories in the three towns of the West district
The Sindh Assembly recently passed legislation for the inclusion of transgender and special people into mainstream society. Following this, special seats have been reserved in the local government set-up, which will for the first time see representation from the transgender community and special people. This is a monumental step toward dismantling the social isolation and marginalisation of both transgender and special individuals. At least six seats will be reserved in both categories in the three towns of the West district.
Globally, many countries have undertaken policy measures to integrate transgender and special people into mainstream society. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, these individuals have long been deprived of their livelihoods and rights because of social stigma and a lack of facilitation and support. This has often forced many transgender individuals to resort to begging, dancing, or sex work to maintain their livelihoods. Whilst special persons who lack family support and financial assistance are compelled to live a life of deprivation. If either of these individuals is found engaging in mainstream activities or society, they are subjected to humiliation, shame, and even violence.
Therefore, the Sindh government’s measures were long overdue because the inclusion of transgender and special individuals in the local government will empower their respective communities. It will show the public that these individuals are just as capable and knowledgeable as everyone else if given the right opportunities. Importantly, it can encourage other provincial governments to take similar measures to include the transgender community and special persons in local government bodies. Even though these steps may not bring about significant change immediately, they can pave the way for greater inclusion and accessibility for both transgender and special individuals in different sectors of the economy. To achieve long-term progress and development, countries need to acknowledge, empower, and support all groups of society.