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Sunday, July 21, 2024  
14 Muharram 1446  

Transgender act was originally for intersex people but it was hijacked: Maria B

Fashion designer has been vocal in her criticism of the act
A composite of designer Maria B and JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmed. Photos: Social Media/File
A composite of designer Maria B and JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmed. Photos: Social Media/File

Fashion designer Maria B, who has faced criticism over her comments on the country’s transgender act, has said that she was opposed to the act because it was hijacked, and not about the ‘intersex community’.

On Wednesday, she appeared on a show on Samaa TV, where she was asked about her opposition to the act. “The transgender act was actually the intersex act that was hijacked.”

The designer equated the situation with the country’s ‘Me Too’ movement, which the designer believes has been hijacked by faux feminists.

On the issue of the transgender act, she said that it was no longer for members of the Khwaja Sira community. “This is why a few friends and I raised our voices against it.”

She said that the intersex community was getting its due right after seventy years which was important. “But read this act and realize that it has a different agenda.”

She said she was working with Jamaat-e-Islami senators Mushtaq Ahmed and Raja Zia-ul-Haq to spread awareness about the intersex community. “We need to give them rights first and then we can talk about transgenders.”

Referring to the provision of the Act, Maria B said that under it, a full-fledged woman can say that they feel like a man. The next day, they can go to NADRA and get a new identity card with a different gender because she feels like that, she continued. “It doesn’t change anything biologically. You can just change your identity if you feel it.”

Controversial aspects of the Act

The act while defining transgender divides them into three categories: intersex (born eunuch), cisgender (cross-sex or congenital gender ambiguity / medically modified genitalia) and transgender (male or female).

Transgender will have the right to register their sex/gender identity with NADRA or other government agencies as per their self-identified identity. Every transgender person can get an identity card, passport or driving license according to their personal identity when they reach the age of 18 years, and those who already have an identity card can also apply for their identity change (he or she) to their identity card, passport or driving license.

Expulsion or discrimination from inherited property or inheritance cannot be tolerated and the right to inherit will be given according to the identity entered on the ID card.

The following will apply to those who are confused about their male or female identity.

After the age of 18 years, the child is/will be registered as a male, while if registered as a female, he/she will get/given inheritance rights as a female. However, if there is gender ambiguity, the average share of the inheritance rights of two separate persons, i.e. male and female, will be given. In case of being a minor (under 18 years of age), it will be determined as per the opinion of the medical officer.

Apart from this, under the transgender act, the respective governments are responsible for the welfare of the transgender community. Rights in educational institutions, hospitals, public places, workplaces and inheritance are protected by law.

Transgender people can approach to the Federal Ombudsman, the National Commission on the Status of Women or the National Commission of Human Rights in case they are being deprived of the rights granted to them in the Constitution.

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Pakistan

Jamaat e Islami

Transgender

NADRA

human rights

Maria B

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed