Thank you, President,
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Forum for Dignity Initiatives, Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We welcome the recommendations made to Pakistan on protecting women’s rights, the rights of transgender people, and sexual and reproductive rights.
We are concerned by the recent regressive ruling by the Federal Shariat court, which struck down key sections of the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act 2018.
These provisions were deemed “unislamic” and the ruling relied on reductive hypothetical scenarios that erroneously present cis and trans women’s rights as competing.
This ruling endangers transgender persons, activists, and allies, and normalises transphobia.
We demand that Pakistan restore the protections in Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act 2018 without delay.
Women in Pakistan are routinely denied their sexual and reproductive rights, and lack adequate access to sexual and reproductive information and services.
Pakistan must provide access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services, including access to safe abortion for all without a requirement for spousal consent.
As Pakistan continues to struggle to recover from the effects of the devastating floods of 2022, women and girls in affected areas must be provided with necessary sexual and reproductive health services.
We urge Pakistan to provide tax-free access to affordable, reusable, clean, environmentally-friendly menstrual health products.
Finally, Pakistan needs to ensure the meaningful participation and leadership of women in the development of climate mitigation, adaptation, and disaster-related policies, the latter of which must include the provision of adequate health services, including sexual and reproductive health services for all.