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Woman approaches court for gender change.

Islamabad -- In a unique case, a 28 year old woman approached the Islamabad High Court yesterday seeking court's permission to change her gender as doctors had advised her a gender re-assignment surgery.

Yusra Waheed filed a petition through her counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi and requested the court to direct relevant government institutions to change her gender status in CNIC, voter list and education certificates.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Minagul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing in this matter and adjourned the hearing till March 8 for further proceedings.

The petitioner, a resident of sector F-11/3 Islamabad nominated Federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of interior, secretary education, secretary health and Chairman National Database Registration Authority as respondents in her petition.

Yusra stated before the court that she was born on January 30, 1990. At the age of 8, her father died due to kidney failure and her mother, who had brought her up also died due to cardiac arrest. She was then taken care of by an elder sister who worked hard to meet household expenses.

She added that the petitioner completed her O-level from Abbottabad and earned a Bachelor's degree from University of London through distant learning program in 2016. Thereafter, she kept working with a law firm as associate lawyer.

The petitioner maintained while giving background of her medical conditions that she started feeling abnormalities, mental and psychological disorder in her personality at the age of 13. She was examined by different doctors who ultimately diagnosed that she is suffering from gender dysphoria. Doctors suggested a gender reassignment surgery to be performed on her by expert doctors.

Battling severe depression, she visited a consultant psychiatrist who in her findings concluded that 'Yusra meets the criteria for gender identity disorder ICD-ID (Gender Dysphoria-DSM-Y) with co-morbid depression.'

Petitioner told the court that another consultant, a cosmetic surgeon named Dr Naveed Akhtar, in his report suggested that 'Yusra visited his clinic with the feeling of and believing that she is a male locked in opposite gender . She is regularly menstruating and has normal secondary sexual characters of a female.

Examination findings were consistent with a normal developed female. Gender reassignment surgery can be performed in stages and I have explained to her the details of every stage and intent of surgery.

I have also explained to her that once she is clearly diagnosed and labelled as a patient of Gender Dysphoria by the psychiatrist with approval and suggestion of Gender Re-assignment surgery, she will need to seek legal procedure to get her decision validated and permitted by the court of law in accordance with the rules.'

After another visit to the doctor, the petitioner was advised to go through a gender re-assignment surgery of which she attached a medical report with the petition.

She maintained that her name is enlisted with her present gender in voter list, education documents and CNIC etc. Once her gender is changed, it is required to change all the documents that need approval from the court .

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 7, 2018
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