Cities poor management in social protection and COVID-19: Transgender inequalities and opportunity bias

The current situation of COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the existing inequalities and health threats in urban communities. The lockdowns of first, second, third and fourth waves have acutely hit the vulnerable and amplified the urban poverty in developing countries. Here, the transgender discrimination in terms of socio-cultural and legal aspects is identified which is leading to further inequality and opportunity hoardings the transgender often faces during COVID-19 pandemic and related containment. COVID-19 has curtailed deep disparities and transgender are fatally preyed by this pandemic. Therefore, this study examines transgender exposed to intensifying hardships due to pre-existing inequalities and opportunity hoardings during the four waves of pandemic. It investigates the underlying opportunity hoardings that are masked by structural inequalities. This study applies Tilly’s theory which focuses on categorical inequality, economic opportunities and income sources between groups of transgender. The data is collected through self-developed quantitative survey instrument from 600 transgender in four different cities of Pakistan. The results indicate high levels of group segregation by social cluster among transgender. It is found that segregation leads to opportunity bias among transgender, which inhibits equitable access to work in the formal and informal sector. Finally, the results show the insufficient income source, economic status based on livelihood support leads to emerging poor management of cities. Further, this study suggests that the investment in social protection of transgender is important to strengthen the objectives of social and national strategies.