Islamabad, Pakistan (CU)_ The transgender community and civil society have lauded the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for passing Pakistan’s Transgender Endowment Fund Bill 2022. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister for the department of social welfare has introduced a bill to establish an endowment fund to upgrade the lives of transgender individuals in the state.
According to Qamar Naseem, a transgender rights activist and Program Manager of Blue Veins, which is an agency running the transgender rights policy campaign, “KP government & Social Welfare Department deserve huge appreciation for making efforts to bring transgender persons into the mainstream by creating an endowment fund”.
Qamar Nasim stated in a media statement that the ruling will help them break the cycle of poverty. He added, “It is encouraging that the government is listening. The time has come to look beyond the binary gender construct of ‘male’ and ‘female’. KP will soon introduce the provincial Transgender Protection Bill 2022”.
As the first provincial government in Pakistan, the KP government took the initiative to address the concerns of the transgender population as outlined in this new law. Section 3 of the proposed law establishes a 100 million rupee endowment fund for the welfare of transsexual individuals. In accordance with Section 4, the cash would be used to promote transgender people into mainstream society through welfare initiatives. In addition, it would offer financial help and interest-free small loans to the transgender community to promote small-scale businesses and entrepreneurship.
After observing the proceedings of the KP Assembly, Nayyab Ali, a globally renowned transgender rights expert and recipient of the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights & Rule Law, stated that today is an important day in the history of Pakistan and that the country became the first nation in the world to enact two laws protecting transgender rights and empowering transgender people. She added, “I feel proud that I have also contributed to developing this legal framework after Federal Law. Now, the next turn will be in Sindh and Punjab provinces”.
According to Farzana Jan, president of the Transaction Provincial Alliance of Transgender Community, the KP government’s initiative of an endowment fund for the transgender community is an enormous achievement and accomplishment.