15 transgender women make history as first to get drivers licenses in Pakistan


Peshawar Traffic Police Head Yasir Khan Afridi and trans activist Farzana Jan. | Photo: Facebook/Directorate General Information & PRs, KP

The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has become the first in Pakistan to issue drivers licences to transgender people.

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KP is one of four administrative provinces in Pakistan and has a prominent transgender population.

It has just started a program that would make it easier for transgender people to get drivers licenses.

In its first wave of the program, 300 applied for a license, and 15 were awarded their license. The remaining would receive their licenses gradually, said SSP Traffic Yasir Khan Afridi in Peshawar.

Trans women line up to get the drivers licenses.

Trans women line up to get the drivers licenses. | Photo: Facebook/Directorate General Information & PRs, KP

‘There would be special driving classes for transgender persons by KP traffic police. The fee would be reduced to minimal. We encourage transgender community to reclaim their social spaces,’ said SSP Traffic Yasir Khan Afridi.

Even though trans people can register as a ‘third gender’ on passports, and soon national ID cards, laws allowing them to do so on drivers licences are still waiting approval from parliament.

A woman in the driver's seat of a car with a police officer in the passenger street giving her instructions

A transgender woman in Pakistan learning to drive. | Photo: Facebook/Directorate General Information & PRs, KP

Long-time transgender activist, Farzana Jan, received the first drivers license. Jan was also the first transgender person to receive a passport with the gender ‘X’.

Speaking at a media conference after receiving her license, Jan said driving would liberate trans people to find more employment outside of the typical options such as, dancing.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the trans community

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its trans community are often in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Transgender women there face extreme levels of violence, torture and murder there. They often struggle to get appropriate medical treatment and police protection.

In January this year, nine people allegedly kidnapped and gang raped an 18-year-old trans activist. Local police in Peshawar admitted it did not file a report on the incident.

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Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/15-transgender-women-make-history-as-first-to-get-drivers-licenses-in-pakistan/

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