KARACHI - For the first time, the Sindh government has hired three transgender persons as full-time employees, a private TV channel reported.

The three newly-hired employees, with bachelor’s degrees, will be working in the Women Development Department. This initiative is to secure basic human rights and increase the status of Pakistan’s transgender community.

It is estimated there are 500,000 ‘eunuchs’ in Pakistan and are identified as a community of castrated men, hermaphrodites, transsexuals and transvestites.

This time last year, the transgender community was officially recognised on voting lists and issued Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs).

In 2009, the Supreme Court’s decision to recognise them as the “third gender” and to issue them CNICs and voting opportunities was seen as a landmark in the legislative history of a nation battling human rights abuse and rampant violence.

Later in April last year, they began participating in the national elections for the first time, as both candidates and voters.