Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Most hijras live at the margins of society with very low status; the very word "hijra" is sometimes used in a derogatory manner. The Indian lawyer and author Rajesh Talwar has written a book highlighting the human rights abuses suffered by the community titled 'The Third Sex and Human Rights.' Few employment opportunities are available to hijras. Many get their income from extortion (forced payment by disrupting work/life using demonstrations and interference), performing at ceremonies (toli), begging (dheengna), or sex work ('raarha')—an occupation of eunuchs also recorded in premodern times. Violence against hijras, especially hijra sex workers, is often brutal, and occurs in public spaces, police stations, prisons, and their homes. As with transgender people in most of the world, they face extreme discrimination in health, housing, education, employment, immigration, law, and any bureaucracy that is unable to place them into male or female gender categories. In 2008, HIV prevalence was 27.6% amongst hijra sex workers in Larkana. The general prevalence of HIV among the adult Pakistani population is estimated at 0.1%. In October 2013, Pakistani Christians and Muslims (Shia and Sunni) put pressure on the landlords of Imamia Colony to evict any transgender residents. "Generally in Pakistan, Khwaja Sira are not under threat. But they are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province because of a 'new Islam' under way", I.A. Rehman, the director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. In a study of Bangladeshi hijras, participants reported not being allowed to seek healthcare at the private chambers of doctors, and experiencing abuse if they go to government hospitals. Beginning in 2006, hijras were engaged to accompany Patna city revenue officials to collect unpaid taxes, receiving a 4-percent commission. Since India's Supreme Court re-criminalized homosexual sex on 13 December 2013, there has been a sharp increase in the physical, psychological and sexual violence against the transgender community by the Indian Police Service, nor are they investigating even when sexual assault against them is reported. On 15 April 2014, in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender people should be treated as a third category of gender or as a socially and economically "backward" class entitled to proportional access and representation in education and jobs.
Posted by Maqsood Qureshi at 3:07 PM