“The Pakistan Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2018 and Its Impact on the Law of Gender in Pakistan”
In May 2018, Pakistan’s Parliament approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018. The legislation of this Act took place after nine years of concerted judicial activity, public discussion, and activism by transgender people in Pakistan around the topic of transgender rights. This Article surveys the major features of the 2018 Act, explaining where and how they realize significant changes to the official ‘law of gender’ in Pakistan, but also where provisions of the 2018 Act create room for confusion or even worry. In the course of this discussion, some background will also be given on the discussions concerning transgender rights in Pakistan which preceded this landmark legislation, as well as the global discussions on transgender rights which have shaped and are being reshaped by developments in Pakistan. This Article concludes by suggesting areas where the 2018 Act will have to be amended (or new legislation introduced altogether) to address key transgender rights issues which remain outstanding in Pakistan.
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