A transgender woman from Pakistan was beaten up and had her head shaved in a horrific transphobic attack.
Keep scrolling to read more and to learn about the LGBTQ+ crisis in this country...
Let's talk about the transgender community in Pakistan.
via: ShutterstockPakistan is known for its strict, conservative laws, and the LGBTQ+ community is considered taboo, despite the fact that legislation was passed last year to allow for the working rights of transgender people.
This is Pakistan's first transgender news anchor...
A little, but noticeable, progression...
via: ShutterstockFrom allowing working rights for trans people to the employment of a transgender news anchor, it seems like Pakistan is beginning to respect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in a slow, but sure, way.
They're still protesting for their rights, however.
via: ShutterstockProtests in demand for transgender rights are still happening in the country as there is, sadly, still strong feeling of negativity towards the LGBTQ+ community, not only in Pakistan, but around the world.
Many are just trying to earn a living...
via: ShutterstockNot all transgender people in Pakistan are lucky enough to land themselves a full-time, secure job. Many trans people resort to dancing, begging, or even selling their bodies to earn a living.
Our story is about a dancer from Mardan, Northern Pakistan...Shakeela, aged twenty-seven, is a transgender woman who earns her living by dancing in her hometown of Mardan.
This poor woman endured hell recently...Shakeela was kidnapped by a group of men on June 4th while the rest of the country was celebrating the major Islamic holiday, Eid al-Fitr. The injuries that the attackers inflicted upon this poor woman are absolutely sickening.
Shakeela was beaten and her head was shaved.This horrific attack involved Shakeela having her head partially shaved and she was horrifically beaten up. Her attackers demanded that she paid a ransom of 1 million rupees - which is around fourteen million American dollars. This money was intended for her "protection" when dancing in the streets. When Shakeela explained that she didn't have that kind of money, they went on to beat and humiliate her further.
Trans Action Pakistan took her in...Transgender rights group, Trans Action Pakistan, took care of Shakeela after she was eventually released by her captors when they realized that she wasn't going to pay up.
Sadly, this isn't the first time that this has happened.Leader of Trans Action Pakistan, Farzana Jan (pictured on the left), explained that the same group had targeted Shakeela twice before, but the police had failed to take action.
It's time to speak out...Shakeela has spoken out about her horrific ordeal in a desperate bid for change to happen in her country. Despite the progress in the attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community that has been made in Pakistan, the rights of these people have not been properly policed and protection has ultimately failed.
It's an impossible situation.
via: ShutterstockThe gangs who carry out these attacks demand ransom money, and, if the money is paid, it is considered "safety money," which ensures that the individual will be left alone to work and earn a living. Farzana said: "It's impossible for Shakeena to pay this money. These organized criminal gangs are active all over the province".
The authorities need to be more involved...
via: ShutterstockFarzana went on to add: "We see a large number of people who either pay money or don't and they are killed or tortured". "The violence is high on the ground but the prosecution and conviction rate is zero. The progress and implementation is almost nill".
Without a change to their involvement...
via: ShutterstockAttacks such as the ones carried out on Shakeema will continue to happen on a daily basis, and what will it take for the authorities in Pakistan to actually start putting their collective foot down?
A crisis in Pakistan is happening...
Protests have been held...
via: ShutterstockMultiple protests have been held around Pakistan in outcry against the treatment of members of the transgender community.
Standing up for the rights that they deserve.
via: ShutterstockAfter the Pakistan government extended the rights for transgender people to legally work, and even passed the law to allow individuals to identify as a "third gender" on their passport, it's absolutely sickening that these attacks are still allowed to continue without any serious consequences for the twisted individuals who carry them out.
This is simply heartbreaking.
via: ShutterstockMembers of the trans community are having to live in constant fear, and the conditions that they live in are unimaginable. A recent protest this year was held in honor of the sixty-second transgender person to be killed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan since 2015.