Pakistan: Supreme Court Rules Transgendered Community Has Right To Vote
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:55 AM

On November 14, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the election commission to register transgendered citizens to vote. The ruling comes after 63 years of oppression of the “hijars,” the Urdu name for members of the transgendered community. Hijars number somewhere near 500,000, and for the first time, they will be able to nominate their own candidates for parliament in next year’s general election.

The hijar community has long faced extortion, sexual violence, and police abuse. It has only been in the past few years that activism has resulted in civil rights for the citizens. In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that the hijars should be considered a “third gender,” creating room for lower courts to rule in favor of civil rights for the hijars.

Compiled from: Bezhan, Frud & Ahmad Shah Azami, Supreme Court Ruling Gives Pakistan’s Beleaguered Transgender Community New Hope, Radio Free Europe—Radio Liberty (20 November 2011).