Living on the Periphery: The Khawaja Siras of Pakistan

Evidence Report (IDS)
Majeedullah, A.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Publication date: 
Wednesday, 27 January, 2016

‘Heterosexuality is normalized, naturalized, and privileged in societies of the global South, in the international development field, and in colonial and post/neo-colonial narratives of the so-called Third World or global South’ (Lind 2010: 7). Thus, people with non-conforming gender and sexual identities living in poverty are rendered invisible in development. In an attempt to counter this invisibility, this report investigates the experiences of exclusion encountered by Khawaja Siras, a gender and sexual minority in Pakistan. It also investigates the role of a gender identity-based programme in bringing about changes in their experience of exclusion.

  • The gender-identity programme has given Khawaja Siras a way to feel safe and secure.
  • The programme could, if it chooses, to grow in the way this study identifies, possibly make long-term impacts on the way the heteronormative society of Pakistan conceptualises gender and sexual minorities.
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