Family Planning Programs Should Address Needs of Transgender People

Aggregate action and shared duty regarding driving a gender balanced world is vital. International Women’s Day is a worldwide day commending the social, financial and political accomplishments of women including trans women.

Now when we talk about the Gender Balance and Equality in Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) program, we need to pay extra focus on Trans women SRHR Rights. Reproductive health and rights – including the decision to have children – are basic rights regardless of gender identity, but gender identity is sometimes another barrier to accessing family planning services due to stigma and discrimination.

Family planning programs should address the unique needs of Transgender people for reproduction and planning their families, including egg donation, gestational carriers, sperm donation, etc. I think the family planning needs of transgender people are an understudied but growing area of research. Sexual and Gender Minority have family planning needs, both similar to and distinct from their exclusively heterosexual peers. In general, understanding of the distinct family planning needs for Transgender people are limited and further research is needed, with particular attention to issues of overlapping health disparities related to their status as Sexual and Gender Minority and other factors, such as race/ethnicity, that may add additional layers of stigma and discrimination.

The barriers to overcome are fierce, and include not only lack of access to health services and insurance but also stigma and discrimination, harassment, violence, and violations of rights at every turn. The SRHR of transgender individuals must be tended to with regard for the social, legitimate, historical, and political settings in which individuals are situated, with social, mental, medical, and lawful gender affirmation as a key need forming any mediation.

Making the changes envisioned here is possible but it will require not only the advocacy, policy, programmatic and research directions presented here but also struggle and action locally, nationally, and globally. We can help empowering transgender people with the knowledge and skills to advocate for their Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights as these are important life decisions that shape their future and boosting

Muhammad Sarim Imran
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