The transgender community faces multiple issues of discrimination, social stigma and exclusion resulting in their deprived socio-economic status. They have little economic opportunities in work that is widely accepted by the society.
They are isolated within their community having Khawja Serah Deera life and inclusion in the wider society only by earning their livelihood by dancing in birthday parties and wedding ceremonies, beggary or sex work. The challenges for survival in a strict conservative atmosphere have left them with limited options to establish a respectable status in society.
Discrimination and stigma resulting in social exclusion from the mainstream society deprives them to quip themselves with life skill set. They have little to no opportunities of formal and informal education. This gap in education worsens the situation for transgender community in Pakistan. Post land mark ruling of Supreme Court 2012, recognizing transgender as a 3rd gender and directed NADRA to issue them CNIC so they can exercise their right to vote, also encouraged job quotas for the transgender community along with their equal right to family inheritance, this ruling actually helped to increase the visibility of transgender community and this visibility increased the gender based violence for the community.
There is a strong urge in the community to fight for their rights but lack of education or no education actually is one of the recognized barriers to reclaim their space in mainstream employment sector, social life, and cultural integration.
Forum for Dignity Initiatives-FDI is a research and advocacy forum working for the advancement of sexual and gender minorities focused on transgender community in Pakistan for last 03 years. FDI works for the alternative strategies to counter stigma and discrimination against transgender community. FDI believes change will come only through if transgender community is empowered and one of the key tools for empowerment is education. FDI is working on multiple initiatives that promote human rights education, functional literacy including computer education and political education.
FDI observed that there are not many education scholarship in general available for Pakistani students be it man or woman (as these are only main gender catered so far at large) but when it comes to transgender community there is no such scholarship available for them. Those education scholarships available are not enough in number and are not designed to transgender community needs as they have different dynamics. To integrate them in mainstream societal fabric we have to facilitate them based on their needs so they are encouraged and they complete their education.
Addressing the needs of transgender community FDI is taking this highly innovative initiative where it launches “Education scholarship for the transgender community in Pakistan”.
This is a national level scholarship which means any Pakistani transgender woman/man can apply for it. There is no age limit for this fund and there is no education level limit. Any Pakistani transgender person, even those who are in their primary grades, can avail this scholarship. The only key criteria is that he/she has to be a promising student/aspiring leader. This scholarship is aimed to support the most promising transgender leaders across Pakistan and has a well-defined application process. This initial fund will be contributed by Mr. Muhammad Yaqoob. This will be first time for such an experiment and FDI will track down all its progress and will issue annual report of this initiative. FDI also encourages other stakeholders and people who like to support education for transgender community to pool in this fund. This will be an open call for donations and support from anyone who believes in transgender empowerment and realizes that education is one of the important tools of empowerment. Following the first year, this scholarship will be a matching scholarship which means FDI will take care of half of the total fee requested.
This allocated amount of 200,000 PKR will remain for the scholarship even if no one applies for this scholarship this first year and this amount will add on to next year allocated scholarship which is 200,000 for now but depends if FDI receives more donations for this scholarship. All the information will be available on our website and its account details will also be available publically.
Outreach/information dissemination strategy for this scholarship is sharing this information with other organizations/partners working for transgender community, our social media page (Facebook- Forum for Dignity Initiatives) website (www.fdipakistan.org), broachers etc.
FDI is launching this education scholarship for the transgender community on December 10, 2016 in order to mark the Human Rights Day reaffirming our commitment of human rights for all without any stigma and discrimination. We mark our commitment with concrete actions towards improving the lives of transgender community in Pakistan with respect and dignity.
Pakistani transgender person, a promising student/aspiring leader, seeking to study at a Pakistan educational institute. FDI employees and board members are not eligible.
Each applicant must go through the application process to ensure transparency and accountability. Urdu, Punjabi and English are accepted.
Award amount: 200,000 PKR for 2017, available from January 2017.
To ensure the accountability and transparency, funds will be directly transfered to the educational institutes.
1. Read and follow all guidelines. Proposals will be disqualified if applicants omit a steps in the guidelines or ignore instructions. If you are unsure whether you are qualified to apply, e-mail assistance.
2. Plan your application with clear education and career goals.
3. Proofread all work thoroughly. Proposals that are unclear or contain mistakes distract the reviewer from focusing on the content. Check to be sure that sentences are complete, clear, and grammatically correct.
4. Have someone else read the completed proposal. An objective reader can often identify areas that need more explanation and may find errors you have overlooked.
Education Scholarship for the Transgender Community
Email for the application.