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Third gender

  1. 1.  Submitted to:Maliha Zeb Khan  Submitted by:Maryam Shakeel, wahib Abbas, Ahsen Nadeem  BS(Social Science) semester 1  Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology  Islamabad
  2. 2. The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are categorized (by their will or by social consensus) as neither man nor wo man, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders. In Pakistan, individuals who are born with sexual deformity are known as hijras
  3. 3. Hijras of Pakistan have their history rooted back in Mughal reign as Khawjasaras. Khawjasaras were servants that were employed by Mughal rulers as care takers of their harems. They were potent in courts, state affairs and as confidantes of rulers. Their status deteriorated with the devastation of princely rulers and finally fettered to begging. By then the hijras are considered social outcasts, existing in a strange, no man’s land.
  4. 4. In Pakistan the hijras live in groups (generally 4-12 members) headed by a Guru, normally the oldest. Most Pakistani cities have sizable hijras communities, divided into clan groups living mostly in ghettos and officiated over by a leader or guru. These communities are generally known as Chellas.
  5. 5. How they earn their livelihood in pakistan? The group earns livelihood by performing/dancing/singing in family functions e.g. birthdays, marriages or child births. It is obligatory for hosts to pay Hijra in money, grain or other things. In central Punjab (Pakistan), hijra groups divide areas among themselves and one group may not interfere with another's territory as it is considered unethical
  6. 6. Most of people do not considered them hijras by birth. They believe that they are either men behaving like women (cross-dressers) or they are homosexual. No doubt, it is true. Zafar (2004)corroborated that the number of those born with sexual deformity in Hijra community is as low as 1%. Both homosexuals and cross-dressers are cursed down upon in Islam. As it is difficult to isolate a genuine hijra from converted one, people use to curse and look down upon whole hijra community. Moreover sex work and certain behavioral patterns such as sundering jokes, using disgusting language and throwing vulgar gesticulations, persuade aggravation resulting in people harboring negative attitude towards them.
  7. 7. Rights of hijras in Pakistan are confined to vote/contest in elections. Otherwise they are victims of extreme social ostracism. They are denied in families. They are neither acceptable at work places nor they are allotted any quota in employment. They are also deprived of opportunities to take education because of people’s attitude towards them. More so they are also denied health and psychological/ psychotherapeutic assistance.
  8. 8. Beside this, educated English speaking class of eunuch is enlarging in Pakistan. They do not face this treatment because of their social and economic status in the society. They become fashion designers, interior decorators, hair stylists’ etc.
  9. 9. In June 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered a census of hijras, who number between 80,000 and 300,000 in Pakistan.In December 2009, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, ordered that the National Database and Registration Authority issue national identity cards to members of the community showing their "distinct" gender. "It's the first time in the 62-year history of Pakistan that such steps are being taken for our welfare", Almas Bobby, a hijra association's president, said to Reuters. "It's a major step towards giving us respect and identity in society. We are slowly getting respect in society. Now people recognize that we are also human beings."
  10. 10. Reasons for becoming hijra or joining hijra community are varied. It is heeded that hijras earn livelihood relatively easily. Desperate and unemployed youth is attracted to hijra community to earn this easy money. Secondly, ignorance toward psychological healing of problems in most of the low class families led their children to take shelter in the so-called safe haven of hijra community. Selling of children to hijra community due to poverty is yet another important reason for becoming hijra.
  11. 11. Reasons are obvious; solutions are obvious too. First of all, parents should be very careful about the children showing deviant behavior. If a boy behaves in girlish manner, he should not be encouraged. Rather, should be taken to psychiatrist immediately for necessary treatment. Secondly, parents should have an active eye on the activities of their children reaching the age of adolescence. They should check the company their children keep. Government should more actively approach to homosexuals and develop public awareness program to handle the issue. At the end, there should be complete record of born hijras on district level. So that these hijras can either be provided financial help publicly to restrain them from falling in socially unacceptable activities or assigned them quota in employment.
  12. 12. References http://www.caissg.org/third-gender-equality-truth/ http://www.chowrangi.com/third-gender-and- their-status-in-pakistan.html

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