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November 1, 2015

‘Transgender community should be treated as separate gender group’


November 1, 2015

The transgender community should be treated as a separate gender group and given equal employment opportunities, especially in the public sector, senior journalist Moniza Inam said at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan office on Friday evening.
“There should be a separate department for persons with disabilities and the mainstream media should highlight the issues of minorities, disabled people, and marginalised communities,” she said while launching a report she has prepared for a non-governmental organization, NOW.
“The State is responsible for providing social security and there should be progressive increase in wages. Similarly, there should be proper assessment of social security needs and people working in informal sector should also be ensured social security.”
In her hour-long presentation on “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)”, Inam said after the passage of the 18th Amendment, many rights had been transferred to the provinces
“In the domain of economic rights, there is right to work and right to form trade union.”
She regretted that there was a wide employment gap between rural and urban sector adding the informal sector needs to be regulated. “There is no occupational safety laws as well,” she lamented. “Trade union activity must be encouraged.”
Inam said land reforms were the need of the hour and added that sustainable agriculture needs to be promoted and genetically modified organisms should be rejected and instead organic farming needed to be encouraged.
“We support Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme but there should be many such schemes,” she suggested. “The government should also initiate insurance schemes.”
She said the Conevant pointed to the right to food and it had become all the more important since malnourishment was on the rise in Pakistan. She said small-scale farming should be promoted adding women could play a vital

role in this regard.
Inam went on to say that there should be investment in agricultural research to contain the onslaught of malnutrition since health indicators were very bad in Pakistan. “The right to health must be treated as a fundamental right,” she said.
Inam said violence against women should be taken seriously and children should be ensured polio vaccination. She said though the right to education had been incorporated but it could not be materialised until there were budgetary allocations.
“Class-based education should be abolished and gender should be taught as a subject,” she said.
Inam said the present curriculum was anti-gender and promoted jingoism and hatred. “She said human rights education must be integral part of curricula,” she added. “Cultural rights are also part of ICESCR.”

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