Transgender woman attacked for refusing sex in Pakistan
A transgender woman in Pakistan was shot after she refused to have sex with attackers who broke into her home.
The victim, Kashi, was shot in the thigh when three armed men broke into her home, in Mansehra, and attempted to rape her.
Police official Ammar Diaz said to Reuters: “They opened fire on her and wounded her for refusing to have sex. We are conducting raids to arrest the attackers. We hope to arrest them soon.”
Kashi, who is in her mid-twenties, has been discharged from hospital and is now recovering.
Campaigners claimed police had failed to act on threats of violence towards the woman and had even refused to respond to an emergency call after the shooting.
Pakistan has seen a string of attacks against it’s transgender community in recent years. Activists say 45 transgender people have been killed in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region in the last two years. Protests broke out in Mantra (north west Pakistan) after the latest vicious attack on a transgender activist.
In May the activist for Trans Action, Alesha, died in hospital after being shot 6 times by attackers. Friends of the victim blamed the hospital for her death because they took so long to decide which ward to put her in (male or female).
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The transgender (hijra) community and it’s supporters protested on the streets to demand that authorities prosecute attackers. They also called for better protection and security of transgender people.
Transgender women are often considered good luck in the country, with many being invited to dance at weddings. However, they are facing increasing violence and being forced into poverty because of the discrimination they face.
This discrimination is taking shape in healthcare, education and jobs. More frequently transgender people are being pushed into sex work to support themselves and can sometimes be raped and attacked whilst working.
In Pakistan transgender people were granted civil rights in 2009. However, LGBT people still struggle with equality, as being lesbian, gay or bisexual is a criminal offence that carries a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Most south Asian countries, including Pakistan, recognise the concept of a third gender where members are not referred to as either male or female.