Eunuchs seek job quota, seats in assemblies

LAHORE: Representatives of eunuchs have urged the government to fix for them a quota in public services and a seat in each legislative assembly, as they are an important segment of society.A national-level association of the eunuchs, Etihad Baraa-e-Haqooq-e-Khawaja Sara (Alliance for the Rights of Transgender) held a press conference along with two civil society organisations, Actionaid Pakistan and Sathi Foundation at the Lahore Press Club on Thursday.Association President Chanda, General Secretary Laila Naz and other office-bearers also highlighted the problems faced by their community in the country.Chanda told the media that they were facing discrimination from all levels of society, even their families were not ready to accept them to avoid embarrassment and disgrace. On the other hand, the society at large was also not giving them opportunities to get jobs in public and private sectors to earn an honourable living.

They claimed that a large number of eunuchs in the country were educated, but were forced to live a miserable life because of prejudice, and distrust at their abilities. Adding that unemployment had forced them to opt for indecent and awkward businesses like street dances and prostitution.Representatives of the transgender community also complained that whenever they tried to apply for a job in any office or shop, people treated them as second-rate citizens. “People take us for granted and abuse us as a community devoid of human feelings”, they added.Commenting on the attitude of the police towards them, they said if they tried to get police help against some ‘respectable’ citizens who abused them, they were always on the receiving end. They said the police do not say anything to the culprits, while they had to face sexual harassment, instead of justice. They demanded of the authorities to direct police to behave with them at the police stations.Regarding questions about the issuance of identity cards to them, they said that the officials of NADRA were yet to cooperate with them in this regard though the Supreme Court had clearly ordered the organisation to register them as a normal citizens. They also urged the government to take solid steps for collecting specific data of the transgender community in the next national census – Dailytimes