In our society, there are a lot of marginalized groups that are deprived of their basic rights, such as the right to education, right to dignity, equality, and in the even worst cases, right to life. The transgender community in Pakistan is one of them.
It is not news for us that transgenders are first abandoned by their family and later by society. And as outcasts, they live the rest of their lives in isolation. This isolation forces them to live on the margins of society while earning some money through normative professions attached to them, like singing, dancing, and begging. In this context, where transgenders are constantly degraded by society for their sexuality, getting access to education is like an impossible dream for them to come true.
According to the UN survey, more than 42% of the transgender community never went to school. And in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, only 7% of the transgenders have made it to college. This draws my attention to the social, as well as educational deprivation of the transgender community in Pakistan.
The dropout ratio of transgenders from schools is also evident through the facts and figures that only 7% of the transgenders have made it to college. Of course, there are various reasons for this extremely high ratio of dropouts. From getting repeated security threats to getting humiliated and sexually and verbally assaulted in the streets, these are all the main reasons that the dropout ratio of transgenders is high, and the literacy rate is low.
It is true that Pakistan has opened its first-ever state-run school for the transgender community in Multan. I do acknowledge the efforts of Pakistan’s government in taking the first step in breaking the stereotypes. But only one school would not be enough to make education easily accessible to every transgender in Pakistan. Pakistan needs to do more!