Transgender community kicks off Sindh’s first-ever Moorat March

Demands equality and protection against hate speech
Nov 24, 2022
<p>Members of the transgender community hold up a symbolic dead body in a rally in favor of their demands in Karachi on Sunday. PHOTO: ONLINE</p>

Members of the transgender community hold up a symbolic dead body in a rally in favor of their demands in Karachi on Sunday. PHOTO: ONLINE

<p>Photo: Sindh Moorat March</p>

Photo: Sindh Moorat March

The transgender community of Sindh on Sunday unified to kicked off its first-ever Sindh Moorat March demanding equality and protection against hate speech.

The march was organized by the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA) to commemorate the International Transgender day of Remembrance.

People who are transgender their cis-gendered allies joined for the a proclamation of demands at the Frere Hall in Karachi on Sunday evening. .

People who are transgenders hailing from different areas of Sindh attended the event, hoping it would be the first step towards making a concerted change in society.

Other rights collectives including Aurat March Karachi, Karachi Bachao Tehreek, and Progressive Students Federation Karachi extended their unconditional support to the organizers of the Sindh Moorat March.

GIA head and long time people who are transgender activist Bindiya Rana along with other activists Shehzadi Rai, Zehrish Khan, and other members of the organization read out the charter of demands and emphasized its manifesto.

During the march, the organizers protested against the violence on people who are transgender, including brutal murders.

For this, they held up mock murdered bodies of people who are transgender and asked the authorities to provide them with justice.

“We have brought symbolic dead bodies of the deceased transgenders before all of you. We are tired now and it must stop,” said Dr Moiz Mehrab Awan, a transgender rights activist.

 Members of the local transgender community dance after staging a protest in favor of their demands on Fatima Jinnah Road in Karachi. PHOTO: ONLINE
Members of the local transgender community dance after staging a protest in favor of their demands on Fatima Jinnah Road in Karachi. PHOTO: ONLINE

While speaking to SAMAA TV, Sindh Moorat March organizer Shahzadi Rai said that the purpose of the march was to seek equal rights and to raise voices against the hate speech and propaganda against the transgender community.

“Hateful remarks have been made against us in the Parliament,” she lamented, adding that some public representatives even labeled their community as ‘shameless’.

Shahzadi also lamented that lack of acknowledgement for the third gender in the country’s academic courses, which is the first step towards discrimination against them.

“Has anyone read the academic curriculum of MBBS which lacks knowledge about the health of people who are transgender?”

She went on to say that there was only one doctor in the country who has basic knowledge about intersex.

In this scenario, who would conduct our medical examination, she asked.

Detailing the demands of the Moorat March, she said, “We have asked the federal and provincial governments to add the history of transgenders in the curriculum and sensitize the new generation about the transgender community.”

“Our demands are neither illegitimate nor contrary to the teachings of Islam,” she argued.

Answering a question about the implementation of laws which guarantee rights and jobs for people who are transgender, she lamented that no progress has been made.

“Implementation [on the special transgender education policy promised by Sindh government] will only start when we will step into federal and provincial assemblies as a member,” Shahzadi complained.

 Members of the local transgender community march in favor of their demands on Fatima Jinnah Road in Karachi. PHOTO: ONLINE
Members of the local transgender community march in favor of their demands on Fatima Jinnah Road in Karachi. PHOTO: ONLINE

Responding to the critique of the Transgender Person’s Protection of Rights Act, Shahzadi said that opposition voiced by a popular Lahore-based designer was aimed at garnering (in)fame to sell her clothes while a political party backing her were also to gain greater political mileage.

She slammed the Jamaat-e-Islami for its opposition said, “This party has never raised its voice for the rights of the transgender community. They are against the laws pertaining to child marriages and force conversions.”

Answering a question regarding increasing pressure from the religious parties, she reiterated, the Moorat March is against the hate speech aimed at any community and that it was the responsibility of the state to stop this.

Moorat March a hope for transgenders

The Sindh Moorat March was held to raise the voice of the country’s transgender community.

 A march participant holds up a banner to support people who are transgender. PHOTO: AQSA SHAMS/SAMAA TV
A march participant holds up a banner to support people who are transgender. PHOTO: AQSA SHAMS/SAMAA TV

A participant of the march, who identified as a person who is transgender, told SAMAA TV that they were hopeful “this march will bring about a social change.”

Referring to the discrimination she faces being a transgender, she said, “I am the first transgender banker of Pakistan with seven years of experience.”

She claimed to have been discriminated at one of their workplaces simply on the basis of her gender.“

According to the society, dancing and prostitution are against social morals, yet discrimination has left them with only these two options to earn a living.

“The educated class of our society also discriminates,” she added.

She said that the government should enact laws to protect the transgender community of Pakistan.

Demands Of Sindh Moorat March 2022

  1. Federal and provincial governments must criminalize transphobic hate speech and practically implement it.

  2. The Law of Diyyat (Blood Money or family pardon) must be kept out of the murder cases of Trans persons.

  3. Right to self-perceived gender identity must be safeguarded at all costs. It is every individual’s fundamental human right.

  4. Housing Crisis: overcharging from transgender persons or discriminating and not giving them property based on their gender identity should be a criminal offense.

  5. Disowning transgender children and abandoning them should be a criminal offense for parents or legal guardians.

  6. Government must implement the existing 0.2% quota for transgender persons for work employment and educational institutions.

  7. Federal government must protect and defend the Transgender Persons’ Protections of Rights Act 2018 & Rules 2020 in its original form and Sindh Government must legislate and pass the provincial bill for the protection of Transgender Persons Rights.

  8. Educational curriculum must include the history of Khwajasiras of the Subcontinent.

  9. Sensitization campaigns must be organized on a regular basis in all public and private institutions and organizations to sensitize the masses on how to respectfully deal with the members of the Khawajasira community.

  10. PEMRA must take strict action against the hate speech and misinformation being spread on national television against the Transgender Persons.

  11. State must build safe houses and shelter homes for the Khawajasira community and they should be managed by the members of the Khawajasira community.

  12. Federal and all Provincial assemblies must allocate 1 reserved seat for the members of the Khawajasira community in the respective assemblies on priority basis.

transgender act 2022

Maria B

Jamaat e Islami

Sindh Moorat March

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