Khwaja saras are a marginalized non-gender normative identity in Pakistan. With the recent passage of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018, the country is to a degree a trailblazer for transgender rights. However, the application of the law has yet to be seen. This paper draws on research conducted in the Twin Cities of Pakistan with khwaja saras. By focusing on experiences of stigma and social exclusion through the voices of khwaja saras in the areas of livelihood, law enforcement, health and politics with the central theme of owning a Computerized National Identity Card, the effectiveness of state initiatives for the recognition and redistribution of the marginalized identity are analysed. The voices of khwaja saras reveal persisting exclusionary practices in various institutional domains. The efforts, or lack thereof, for the institutional integration of transgender identities reveal that there is a lot more to be done to truly realize the sexual rights of khwaja saras.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Khwaja Sara, Body, Identity, Pakistan, Social Exclusion, Sexual Rights, Human Rights, Legal, Consciousness, Transgender, Izzat, Recognition, Redistribution
Thesis Advisor Keijsers, Loes
Persistent URL
Series Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
Waheed, Zoya. (2019, December 20). Legal Recognition of Gender Identity and Sexual Rights: The Voices of Khwaja Saras in Pakistan. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from