Nayab Ali becomes the first Pakistani transgender for being nominated for GALAS, an international award that honors those who work for a better future for LGBT+ people. The award ceremony will be held on February 9 in Dublin, Ireland.
Ali has been shortlisted for her extraordinary work for the transgender community’s welfare in Pakistan.
While talking to a local news channel, Ali Said,
“It’s an honor for me, I have always longed for members of our community to make the nation proud like other Pakistani men and women do.”Source: Samaa
This is not the first time that Ali has made headlines. She was one of 13 transgender people who contested in the 2018 general elections for the first time in the country’s history.
Ali did not win the election, but says the act of contesting was itself revolutionary.
She has been providing technical support to government institutions for the last 10 years to improve transgender people’s lives and provide them their basic rights.
She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in botany from University of Punjab and a master’s degree in international relations from Preston University of Islamabad.
She also encourages other members of her group to educate themselves to up the ante.
“Trans women should educate themselves and serve the country,” Ali said, adding that it’s one of our basic responsibilities as a citizen.Source: Samaa
The transgender community also includes her daughter Alisha and sister Ayesha. Alisha is an MPhil scholar while Ayesha works in the Human Rights Ministry.
Ali believes it was all possible due to education. Getting an education changes you as a person, she said.
She further added that opportunities keep coming to those who are educated.
Ali added that the need for the hour for transgender people is political empowerment since it is “very important to campaign and lobby”Source: Samaa
“You can do voice prominent changes when law-making institutions are ready to listen to your reservations,” she said.Source: Samaa
She clarified that no man or woman could ever understand, let alone represent transgenders at any platform. Ali, however, was pleased with the changes in society.
In the coming 10 years, I can see a transgender representing us on political forums, she said.
She said the government is giving the group a helping hand, but others also need to change their treatment with transgender people.