Pakistan Parliament, for the first time in its history was schooled about pronouns used for the LGBTQ+ community.
The transgender woman Bubbli Malik addressed the Pakistan National Assembly and proposed gender-inclusive usage of pronouns for greeting the assembly.
Malik interrupted Speaker Pervez Ashraf while addressing the House by saying Hazreen-e-Mehfil, which stands for people present at the gathering, instead of Khawateen-o-Hazrat, which means ladies and gentlemen. It is a remarkable moment in Pakistan’s history as LGBTQA voice was heard openly in the public sphere for the first time .
“I stand here talking about my rights. Pakistan can be mine too. There should be a seat here that is reserved for a transgender cabinet. This is my appeal to you,” said Malik in her address to Parliament, as per the video story.
Social media users have been celebrating the historical moment. They praised and appreciated the progressive move.
Aisha Mughal, scholar and first Transgender Woman to represent Pakistan Government at the UN tweeted, “We need this kind of inclusive intervention. Hope to see transgender Parliamentarians in the future.”
Earlier this month, Emoon Kazmi was appointed as a member of the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection Against Harassment (FOSPAH). This appointment has been seen as a sign of progressive attitude toward the transgender community.
The transgender community for years together struggled for their rights and identity. Pakistan has a transgender protection law in place, but its proactiveness is reportedly questionable. Multiple reports of violence against transgender have been reported in Pakistan. For example, months back, Nayyab Ali, a prominent trans activist from Islamabad, was held hostage for hours together, beaten, and robbed.
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More on Bubbli Malik
Malik is a transgender activist and an executive director of Wajood, an organisation that works for transgender awareness in Pakistan. Wajood was established to change public perception of Khwajasiras (transgender community) and help them achieve their livelihood.