Stakeholders including policy makers, legislators, political parties, CSOs, transgender rights activists, representatives of different departments including Health, Population Welfare, Social Welfare, youth advocates, SGM rights activists, and media representatives attended the session.
Programme Coordinator Qamar Naseem highlighted the shortcomings of healthcare system and mentioned that existing healthcare facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa did not cater to the needs of transgender community.
The National Assembly in May this year approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 aimed at ensuring rights of transgender persons.
Under the law, transgender persons are able to register to obtain driving licence and passport. They will have the option to get their gender changed in the National Database and Registration Authority’s record.
According to the law, harassment of transgender persons will be prohibited in and outside their homes. They will not be discriminated against by educational institutions, employers, in trade and health services, and when using public transport and buying or selling or renting property.
It was also stated in the bill that anyone found guilty of forcing these persons to beg will be sentenced to six months in prison and served a fine of Rs50,000.
Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that transgender people could get national identity cards as a “third sex”.
Last year the government issued its first passport with a transgender category.
In practice however transgender people are often marginalized and face discrimination in education and jobs.
Many live in secluded communities and have no choice but to beg on the streets or sing at private parties to earn a living.