For the first time a transgender woman has been chosen to take part in the United Nations conventions on violence against women in Geneva.
The delegate from Pakistan, Aisha Mughal, works with the Ministry of Human Rights and attended the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), led by the country’s Ministry for Human Rights.
The CEDAW committee successfully completed a review of Pakistan’s 5th Periodic UN report, and Mughal praised her country for allowing her a seat at the table, becoming the first country in the world to include a legally recognized transgender woman.
“I am really grateful to my boss for believing in me and for making me part of Pakistan’s Government delegation to UN CEDAW,” Mughal wrote on Twitter. “I acknowledge the efforts of my government for mainstreaming the transgender community of Pakistan”.
“Many transgender women have attended these conventions before but they were representing civil societies,” Mughal said in an interview with SAMAA TV.
“This was the first time a transgender was a member of a government delegation”.
Mughal’s attendance at the CEDAW comes just weeks after Pakistan has extended free healthcare to trans people. The landmark move means all transgender people will be eligible for free medical treatment, including medical care related to transitioning procedures, through a special health card that
will give them access to an existing government health insurance scheme.
Prime minister Imran Khan declared to “taking responsibility” for trans people of Pakistan, saying that they routinely face harassment and ridicule from hospital staff and patients, citing a change of plans as he sets up separate hospital wards for trans patients.
Mughal praised her country’s record on trans rights, saying: “Pakistan has become an example for the entire world.
“With all the support from the government, I feel proud to be a Pakistani transgender woman”.