Pakistan has opened its first school for transgenders and hermaphrodites in the city of Lahore.
The ‘Gender Guardian’ school opened on April 15 and already has 30 students enrolled.
A regional news channel recently announced it had hired Pakistan’s first transgender TV anchor, Maavia Malik, who attended the launch of the school alongside other transgender activists.
The school offers 12 years of education from primary level to college.
It also offers vocational and technical courses for those who don’t want to pursue an academic route. There is no upper age limit for students.
The school was launched by the NGO Exploring Future Foundation (EFF).
Managing Director Moizzah Tariq said the aim was to “provide skill-based training and curriculum to the transgender community that has enrolled with us.”
He added: “Most of them have shown interest in sectors of the fashion industry including learning about cosmetics, fashion designing, embroidery, and stitching while some have also shown interest in graphic designing and culinary skills.
“Having gained information from them first we designed our courses for them.”
Mr Tariq said he decided to kick-off the initiative after seeing a bomb attack at a transgender school in Indonesia.
He told a local news agency: “I was moved after seeing the bomb blast in Indonesia in 2016 at a transgender school.
“It was the only such school in any Islamic country in the world. After that we decided to provide them education and bring them to the mainstream.”