Tuesday, March 24, 2009


According to our research results there are only a few active NGO’s working for the rights of these hijras. Contech International Health Education Research Resource Institute (NHERRI) is one such institute working for the rehabilitation of hijras, providing them enough job opportunities and basic education so that they do not indulge in activities like beggary and prostitution. Although the program objectives of this NGO is to reduce the risk of HIV AIDS among MSM (men having sex with men), these also continue to register and provide services to newly registered hijras, and providing health education sessions.

It is interesting to note that the NGO’s are playing a very active role for the welfare of hijras. In recent years, various organizations have been formed o address HIV/AIDS awareness and human right issues. The Contech International Health Education Research Resource Institute (NHERRI) is on example but although efforts are being backed up or supported by government assistance. This is acting as a hindrance and threatens to curtail opportunities for hijras, increasing their dependence on prostitution. If a comparative analysis is undertaken, there are almost thrice the numbers of NGO’s working in India than in Pakistan along with government support.

In recent years organization such as the Dai Welfare Society and Hijras and Kalyan Sabha have been formed to address eunuch related issues a raise voice for their welfare. In India, some hijras have become involved I politics-in 2000 “Aunt” Shabnam Mausi was elected to her state legislature and Kama Jaan and Asha Devi were selected mayors of their towns. We are competing with our arch rivals India in every single phase of life, be it be at the economic front or the socio political front. Why is it then difficult for the government to compete with the front of India when it comes to the rights of the eunuchs? ‘We could have eunuchs as ministers, eunuchs in opposition, eunuchs as judges and even eunuchs as law enforcers’. Why is the gender discrimination still present in Pakistan? Unfortunately, the poor gender less people are ‘neglected’, ‘abhorred’, and considered a ‘burden’ on the society. ‘Their only fault is that they cannot prosecute’. We could all argue that a large majority of them is engaged in unlawful activities, but that is only because they are not given any recognition anywhere. There is no reason why eunuchs should not be given an opportunity to participating in politics. Therefore, the fault rests with the government. How many times has the government addressed the issue of deciding on the gender and fate of the eunuchs? Since ancient times, till today, according to old legal texts that are dealt with the third sex, eunuchs have no right to inherit property and, are not allowed to conduct sacrifices. The third sex has always been recognized by the people, the society and the government yet always discriminated. Consequently we have therefore, never come across a unisex public toilet or even a school where the eunuchs can avail education opportunities without being victims to ridicule and derogatory remarks. It is indeed unfortunate to see that eunuchs today a no place in our society. The only bit of efforts that are being made one being made by a handful of NGO’s and no steps being taken by the government at all.

Pakistani eunuchs have demanded that they be allowed to play a role in national politics, through reserved seats at all legislative forums, but the government has refused; saying eunuchs have the same status as any other citizen of the country.

“Eunuchs can get elected from any legislative forum like other citizens, because they neither belong to a minority nor are they considered females,” said government officials.

“The federal government has refused to reserve seats for eunuchs in national as well as provincial assemblies, and if eunuchs want o get involved in national politics, they should contest elections like other people,” said an Interior Ministry official. “Eunuchs are considered males in Pakistan, not females, at the time they are issued national identity cards,” he said, adding that therefore they could not be treated specially.

All Pakistan Eunuch’s Association (APEA) officials have demanded that the government reserve special seats for eunuchs at the national, provincial or district level in Pakistan’s history, but they have been elected councilors in few areas.

At an APEA convention at Kot Adu last month, eunuchs also demanded that dancing and singing be considered bachelors degrees and their sexual status be mentioned in national identity cards. NADRA refused to mention eunuchs’ sexual status in NIC’s, with one official, Nabeel Najam, saying, “If a normal citizen is referred to as a eunuch because of a printing error or some other mistake, there will be serious trouble for NADRA.” An office-bearer of the APEA, Sunny, said the government was not cooperating with eunuchs over these issues.

If the educated, English speaking class of the eunuchs, enlarging in Pakistan, can become fashion designers, hair stylists, decorators etc, why can’t the underprivileged be provided with educational facilities and equal opportunities. Universal declarations on human rights clearly hold that all human beings, irrespective of gender (among others such as race, caste, creed etc) are entitled to human rights. Yet the eunuchs are denied rights since decades.


  1. it is true that they arnt entitled to human rights in many cases and are treated inhumanly im many other. But i do not agree with their demand for reserved seats in national politics. if everyone should be considered equal than the strugle should be the same as well. It is not only them but everyone should be provided with basic education so that they can lead their life as they please respectfully. This is a sexual preference regardless of race or religion thus being considered a minority is also out of the question.

  2. hmmm...i think the sturgle should be the same too and offocurse every one and anyone has full rights to get basic education.