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Ukraine overshadows plight of LGBTQ+ and intersex Afghans

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. See the article : Texas elects first openly gay black lawmaker.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees notes that more than 6 million Ukrainians have registered as refugees in Europe.

The European Union allows Ukrainians to travel to Member States without a visa.

Germany currently offers a “basic income” to those who have registered for a residence permit that allows them to pay for housing and other basic needs. Ukrainian refugees can also access German language classes, vocational training programs and childcare.

dr. Ahmad Qais Munhazim, an assistant professor of global studies at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia who is originally from Afghanistan, has helped three groups of Afghans leave the country since the Taliban regained control of the country.

Munhazim told the Blade on Monday that his family had been living in a hotel room in Toronto for three months. Munhazim also pointed to the treatment Ukrainian refugees receive once they reach the EU, UK, Canada or US.

“Countries would of course argue that they were unprepared, but we can see that it was a very racist reaction,” Munhazim said. “The way they responded to Ukraine were also unprepared for that, but we know that these borders opened immediately, aid was offered to Ukrainians in a very, very humanitarian way, just because they had blond hair and blue eyes. which was not previously offered to Afghans or Syrians when they fled Syria.”

Maydaa told the Blade that countries had “this huge concern about LGBT people coming from Afghanistan”.

“It had, I believe, to do with terrorism and all these prejudices of the Afghan people,” Maydaa said. “I also think this plays a big role when it comes to resettlement and international action.”

Maydaa, like Munhazim, also noted the different reception Ukrainian refugees have received once they reach the EU or the UK.

“They, especially in Europe and the UK, feel they have more responsibility towards Ukraine,” Maydaa said. “[There was] all this racism on the news. “They look like us. They are blond, green eyes, white skin, Christians.’”

Southern-Central Asia

“Practicing the construction of protection systems for LGBTQ+ allies requires a culturally sensitive & community-based approach” To see also : Critics of Texas’ push for a “Don’t Say Gay” bill say acknowledging LGBT people is not the same as teaching children about sex..

“Practicing the construction of protection systems for LGBTQ+ allies requires a culturally sensitive & community-based approach”

LGBTQ and intersex activists in Pakistan (Photo Courtesy of Hussain Zaidi)

KARACHI – Pakistan is a country notorious for its human rights abuses, and the LGBTQ and intersex community is one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. Despite the challenges, the community is fighting for their rights and making slow progress.

Since homosexuality is illegal in Pakistan, the LGBTQ and intersex community is often forced into hiding. This makes it difficult to estimate the size of the community, but tens of thousands of LGBTQ and intersex people are thought to live in Pakistan. Many of them live in affluent areas of Karachi, the country’s largest city, without fear, as do community members in similar parts of Pakistan.

However, the community still faces many challenges in Pakistan. They experience discrimination and violence, both from individuals and the government.

For example, in 2018, the Pakistani government passed a law under section 377 of the colonial-era penal code that punishes same-sex marriage with up to 10 years in prison. Homosexuality remains a crime in Pakistan.

In addition to the criminalization of LGBTQ and intersex Pakistanis, the community continues to face discrimination and violence that often perpetuates family members.

Many LGBTQ and intersex people face verbal, emotional and even physical abuse by their families as a result of social and religious pressures. This can lead to them dropping out of school or even forgoing higher education altogether.

Discrimination in the workplace and in the education system forces many LGBTQ and intersex Pakistanis to remain in the closet, and those who are gone are often unable to find work or continue their education. Access to health care – including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and infections – is an ongoing challenge.

A law that allows transgender people to legally change the gender on their national ID cards and other official documents, allows them to vote, and bans discrimination based on gender identity in employment, health care, education and on public transport came into effect last year become. In 2009, the Pakistani Supreme Court ruled in favor of recognizing transgender people as the third gender on identity cards. Despite these advances, discrimination against trans-Pakistanis remains widespread.

Pakistan’s LGBTQ and intersex rights organizations fight for change

Some of the country’s LGBTQ and intersex advocacy organizations are based in Lahore, but most are in Karachi. On the same subject : How monkeypox ruined gay men’s plans for an invincible summer.

Pakistan’s first gay rights organization was founded in 1994 in Lahore. There are now more than 20 groups working to spread awareness and understanding about the LGBTQ and intersex community.

O, also known as O Collective, was founded in Lahore in March 2009 by activists working to protect the rights of sexual minorities, especially LGBTQ and intersex people. They are committed to educating and supporting gay communities, sexual minorities and their families and friends. O provides a safe space for the community to meet and discuss issues such as sexual health and legal rights.

The Naz Health Alliance is a public health NGO that works with government and other stakeholders to provide technical assistance to public health programs, conduct research, provide capacity building, advocate for policy change and social inclusion, and raise awareness about regarding the sexual health and human rights of MSM (men who have sex with men) and transgender communities.

The group also works to build a healthy and inclusive society by tackling the social exclusion faced by the MSM and transgender community. Qasim Iqbal founded the Naz Health Alliance in 2011.

Uzma Yaqood founded the Forum for Dignity Initiatives in 2013.

FDI is a research and advocacy organization that aims to improve the lives of sexual and gender minorities in Pakistan through education, health and other social services sensitive to their respective identities. The organization is committed to ensuring that women, young people and transgender people can live their lives without fear.

Jannat Ali – who describes himself as an ‘artist’ – is the executive director of Track T, a trans rights organization based in Lahore.

Her organization staged the first-ever trans Pride parade in Pakistan in 2018, attended by nearly 500 people. The country’s first-ever Pride parade — marred by violence — took place in Karachi the year before.

Ali launched an episode program on Instagram and YouTube in March 2021. She is the first openly transgender to host her own show in Pakistan.

Hussain Zaidi is a recent graduate of Swarthmore College and has worked tirelessly to ensure transgender people have access to public health care in Pakistan. Zaidi spoke to the Washington Blade about how Pakistan’s LGBTQ and intersex communities view and what can be done to ensure their safety.

“LGBTQ+ communities are typically seen as adopting a Western framework for sexuality that is not in line with cultural norms in Pakistan,” Zaidi said. “There is an indigenous culture in Pakistan where queerness and transgender people can thrive, but our conception of this cultural practice and manner is removed from global narratives of LGBTQ+ freedom and self-autonomy.”

Zaidi added: “Labels for the LGBTQ+ community are considered illegal and propaganda that Pakistani individuals across the queer/trans spectrum are co-opting identities targeting Western frameworks and lenses.”

“Even within communities that would be considered LGBTQ+, we see people rejecting the LGBTQ+ framework and advocating instead the adoption of the local, indigenous praxis of transness and queerness,” Zaidi added. “So overall, the social landscape of LGBTQ+ rights is complex and intersectional, with perceptions of the label differing based on what class, status, education level and background the Pakistani acting as an observer comes from.”

Zaidi said security for LGBTQ and intersex Pakistanis “starts first with the work of understanding how communities in Pakistan want to represent themselves in the wider Pakistani culture.”

“Practicing the construction of protection systems for LGBTQ+ allies requires a culturally sensitive and community-oriented approach,” Zaidi said. “Often foreign organizations providing aid and support expect programming to revolve around terminologies and ideas that are globally accessible and sourced/digestible by the West. As a result, the important work of understanding how to support existing communities in establishing and advocating for their identity and rights is being ignored or under-prioritised.”

“By understanding what existing communities want, a community-informed strategy can be implemented to safely advocate for LGBTQ+ attuned people, which also does not endanger the community itself in any way,” Zaidi added. “There aren’t many organizations doing this kind of work, because of the level of public censorship and policing regulated by opponents of the LGBTQ+ framework. By ensuring basic systems of protection and security, we can expect to see an increase in the number of people and organizations committed to supporting different sexual and gender identities.”

U.S., German embassies support LGBTQ, intersex activists

The US Embassy in Pakistan is working to raise awareness and understanding of LGBTQ and intersex issues and people in the country.

It organizes community and educational events to build connections and support between LGBTQ and intersex Pakistanis and works to combat discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The embassy, ​​located in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, hosted an LGBTQ and intersex event in 2011.

“Mission Pakistan is working to strengthen and support the LGBTQI+ community,” the embassy tweeted on May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. “We strive every day to ensure that the human rights of the LGBTQI+ community are respected and protected from oppression. We will continue to push for full equality.”

Mission Pakistan works to empower and support the LGBTQI+ community. We strive every day to ensure that the human rights of the LGBTQI+ community are respected and protected from oppression. We continue to push for full equality. pic.twitter.com/MvbIt0J4xI

The German embassy in Karachi also hosted an event for queer Pakistanis in 2021.

Southern-Central Asia

Pakistani society makes little or no distinction between public order, morality, sexual orientation or gender identity

Pakistani society makes little or no distinction between public order, morality, sexual orientation or gender identity

Screenshot/YouTube Transgender: Pakistan’s Open Secret (LGBTQ+ Documentary)

ISLAMABAD – The transgender community in Pakistan remains largely visible, but is marginalized and banned.

Pakistani society makes little or no distinction between public order, morality, sexual orientation or gender identity. With the introduction of new thoughts, cultures and religions in Pakistan over different time periods, a whole new understanding of lesbians, gay men and transgenders has emerged in broader terms such as LGBT and queer.

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Trans rights in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country in southern Asia. The region now bordering present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan is one of the most war-torn regions in the world. For transgender people, life in Pakistan can be particularly difficult. They face challenges with family, friends, co-workers, strangers and the government.

Transgender people have a long history in Pakistan. There are references to transgender people in ancient Hindu texts, and transgender people have been part of Pakistani culture for centuries.

The first public trans beauty contest was held in Pakistan in January 2017. The event was organized by the Khawaja Sira Society, a transgender support group. The election was a major step forward for trans rights in Pakistan.

Despite some progress, transgender people in Pakistan still face many challenges. Family members may reject transgender people, leading to homelessness and poverty. They may be laughed at or humiliated by strangers. They can be denied basic rights and opportunities, such as education and work. And they can be victims of violence and abuse.

The government of Pakistan has taken some steps to protect the rights of transgender people. In 2018, the government passed a law banning discrimination against transgender people at work.

Transgender people in Pakistan face many challenges when it comes to their rights. A major concern is the lack of legal recognition of their gender identity. This means that transgender people are often unable to obtain identity documents that match their gender identity, which can make it difficult to access many basic rights and services.

Another area of ​​concern for the trans community in Pakistan is violence. Transgender people are often the target of physical and sexual violence, as well as verbal abuse and intimidation. This violence is often committed with impunity, so that the perpetrators are rarely held accountable for their actions.

The trans community in Pakistan is also discriminated against when it comes to employment, housing and healthcare. Many transgender people are forced to work in the informal sector because their gender identity prevents them from getting formal employment. This often means they are paid less than their cisgender counterparts and have less protection at work. When it comes to housing, transgender people are often evicted and discriminated against by landlords. And when it comes to healthcare, transgender people often struggle to access quality healthcare that meets their specific needs.

These are just some of the biggest concerns facing the Pakistani trans community. While some small steps forward have been taken in recent years, much more remains to be done.

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What international agencies can and should do for trans Pakistanis

There are a number of things that international organizations can do to support the trans community in Pakistan. This includes, but is not limited to:

1. Provide financial support to organizations working with and for the trans community in Pakistan.

2. Lobby the Pakistani government to ensure that the trans community is legally recognized and protected from discrimination and violence.

3. Working with Pakistani civil society organizations to raise awareness of trans rights issues and promote social acceptance of the trans community.

4. Encouraging Pakistani companies to create inclusive workplaces for trans workers.

5. Support research into the health needs of the trans community in Pakistan.

6. Provide training and capacity building to Pakistani police and other law enforcement officers on how to better protect transgender people from violence and discrimination.

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Resources for more information about Pakistan and transgender interests

There are an estimated 500,000 transgender people in Pakistan, and they face a lot of discrimination. They are often not allowed to use public toilets or changing rooms that match their gender identity, and many are denied access to education or work.

Some progress has been made in the field of trans rights in Pakistan in recent years.

In 2012, the government began issuing national ID cards with a third gender option. And in 2017, a trans woman was elected to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly. In 2022, Sarah Gill became the first trans doctor in Pakistan. But much more needs to be done to achieve full equality for transgender people in Pakistan.

If you are looking for more information about trans rights in Pakistan, here are some great resources.

Trans Action Pakistan is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending the rights of transgender people in Pakistan. They provide support and advocacy and also run awareness campaigns.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill was introduced in the Pakistani parliament in 2016. It contains a number of provisions to protect rights.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act

The trans community in Pakistan has been fighting for their rights for many years and finally won a major victory in 2018 with the passing of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018. This law provides legal recognition and protection of transgender people in Pakistan and contains provisions for things such as identity documents, anti-discrimination measures and access to education and work. While transgender people in Pakistan still face many challenges, this act is a major step forward in the fight for equality.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act is a piece of legislation enacted to protect the rights of transgender people in Pakistan. The law prohibits discrimination against transgender people in all areas of life, including employment, education, health care and housing. It also provides for the recognition of the gender identity of transgender people and gives them the right to change their legal sex.

The law has been widely praised by human rights groups and is seen as a step forward for trans rights in Pakistan.

On the positive side, the law offers transgender people basic rights and protections that they did not have before. For example, it prohibits discrimination against transgender people in the workplace, education and other areas of life. It also allows them to change their gender on government issued documents.

On the negative side, some activists feel the law doesn’t go far enough in protecting transgender rights. For example, it does not allow them to get married or adopt children. It also requires them to undergo surgery before they can change their gender on official documents. This can be a costly and difficult procedure for many transgender people.

Overall, the act is a step in the right direction for the Pakistani trans community. However, more needs to be done to fully protect their rights and give them equality.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act was passed by the Pakistan National Assembly in May 2018. This law provides basic rights and protection for transgender people in Pakistan.

By law, transgender people are allowed to identify their gender themselves. This is a big step forward, as transgender people in Pakistan have previously been forced to undergo surgery or hormone therapy to change their legal sex.

The law also prohibits discrimination against transgender people in the workplace, education, health care and other areas of life. This means that transgender people now have equal access to opportunities and resources.

The passing of this law is a major victory for trans rights in Pakistan. It provides much-needed protection and rights for transgender people.

Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret (LGBTQ+ Documentary):

Southern-Central Asia

National Academy of Legal Studies and Research made an announcement on March 26

National Academy of Legal Studies and Research made an announcement on March 26

(Photo courtesy of the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research Twitter page)

HYDERABAD, India — India’s National Academy of Legal Studies and Research becomes the first gender-neutral university.

The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in Hyderabad announced on its official Twitter page on March 26 that it has decided to create a gender-neutral safe space for LGBTQ+ students and designated the ground floor of a dormitory for them. The university also said rooms will be assigned to students who identify themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The university has announced that the bathroom on the ground floor of the dorm is now gender neutral. While the university is drafting its final policy, the concerns of LGBTQ+ students will be allayed through the interim policy.

Vice Chancellor Faizan Mustafa told the Washington Blade that since he joined the university in 2012, he has followed the administration’s “freedom model” rather than its “control.” According to Mustafa, his governance model allowed him to allow students to participate in policy making, leading to a gender neutral campus.

“I feel that the knowledge creation takes place in liberal spaces,” Mustafa said. “And the knowledge creation requires the liberation of the university spaces, because knowledge creation requires creativity, and creativity doesn’t come when you have control.”

A student in June 2015 requested that the university not include gender in its degrees. The university quickly accepted this request and used the neutral prefix ‘Mx’. This led to the idea of ​​inclusivity on the university campus.

“When some students approached me that while the freedom model is good for everyone, we are not doing enough for gender and transgender people. So I formed a committee,” Mustafa said. “I included some students on the committee, some teachers, and then I said: let’s make a new start. Accordingly, the policy has been approved by me and now we invite suggestions for the policy before going to the legal bodies of the university. We will not follow the gender binary on campus.”

The University’s Trans Policy Committee has prepared the “Policy on Inclusive Education for Gender and Sexual Minorities”.

According to the self-identification policy, students must write a self-affirmed statement, which will form the basis for the recognition of gender identity. The policy also suggests that gender in official documents should be independent of the student’s honorific in the legal documents.

The policy states that no documents will assign a gender to a student. Even after the declaration of gender identity, students can change their name and pronouns. The policy also emphasizes that self-identified gender will be the basis for all rights deriving from the policy, for example dormitories, scholarships and the right to make discrimination claims.

“Certainly what the university has done is great, but the whole discourse and activism around creating gender neutral spaces has been led by students and informal student collectives like NALSAR Queer Collective, Savitribai Intersectional Study Circle, NALSAR Minorities Forum, etc.” said Kranthi, a fourth-year student who co-founded the NALSAR Queer Collective.

Kranthi is a member of the committee that drafted the new policy.

“I should add that LGBTQ+ students in NALSAR would not have received recognition of their basic rights without the support and solidarity of Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim and Bahujan students,” Kranthi said. “The support and solidarity of other marginalized groups in the university is an important part of our fight for gender-neutral spaces.”

Kranthi said that creating gender-neutral spaces sends a strong message to the world that anyone who doesn’t fit or refuses to fit into the gender binary system is welcome and recognized.

“What has happened in our university so far is little, and so much more needs to be done if we are to shift the entire institutional culture towards true inclusion of gender and sexual minorities,” Kranthi said. “Unless economic and social support is provided to trans and queer students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, these changes brought about by the university would mean nothing to them and would only serve the interests of higher-caste queer students. Hopefully we can focus more on substantive aspects such as capacity and skills development, financial aid and scholarships, internship support for queer and trans students than on formal procedures and piecemeal changes.”

A spokesperson for Queer Nilayum, a support group for LGBTQ+ people in Hyderabad, praised the new policy.

“We believe that providing gender-neutral toilets and hostels is a big step towards creating a safer and more affirmative campus for transgender (trans), non-binary (nb) and gender-nonconforming (GNC) people.” “, they said. “However, creating a gender neutral infrastructure and just saying ‘there will be no gender discrimination’ is not enough to protect the rights of gender marginalized people. There needs to be much more awareness and education about gender so that people who are gender marginalized recognize their biases and prejudices about trans, nb (non-binary) and GNC (gender non-conforming) people. There should also be policies to prevent instances of discrimination and to ensure fairness and justice for those who face discrimination.”

A survey conducted by UNESCO in 2019 found that 60 percent of LGBTQ+ students of high and high school students in India experienced bullying or intimidation. Forty-three percent of respondents said they experienced sexual harassment in grade school, while 70 percent of LGBTQ+ students who were bullied said they suffered from anxiety and depression and 33 percent dropped out.

Ankush Kumar (Mohit) is a freelance reporter who has written many stories for Washington and Los Angeles Blades from Iran, India and Singapore. He recently reported for the Daily Beast. He can be reached at [email protected].

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