Pakistan’s transgender and non-binary community can now apply for passports with the option of selecting a ‘third gender’—instead of just male or female.
While the government hasn’t made an official announcement about the changes, Trans Action Pakistan has shared the news on their Facebook page.
“Another milestone achieved,” the post reads.
“After a long struggle we are able to make another change. Now the the Govt of Pakistan is issuing Passports to transgender Community as separate category.
“Thank you Govt of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior and Passport authorities for listening to us.”
Transgender and non-binary people who apply for new passports will now be able to select the third gender option 'X' on their application form.
Trans activist and President of Trans Action Pakistan, Farzana Jan, became the first person in the country to receive one of the new passports that reflects their gender identity.
“It is a good sign at international level as the country is now among very few countries with third gender category on passports,” says Farzana Jan.
“Still countries like Saudi Arabia don’t consider our identity nor allow us entry in the country for Umrah or Hajj,” they said.
Pakistan now joins countries such as Nepal, New Zealand, Germany and India in recognising the needs of the transgender and non-binary community when applying for official travel documents.
Earlier this year, Farzana Jan successfully held a 40th birthday party for a member of the transgender community in Peshwar—the first time such an event has been held in over a decade.