For the first time in history, a transgender woman has represented a country at the United Nations Convention to end all forms of Discrimination Against Women. The country was Pakistan and it was represented by Aisha Mughal.
She became the first transgender woman to become a member of the national delegation that represented Pakistan at the global forum in Geneva last week.
The Government of Pakistan has become the first country in the world to include a legally recognized Transgender woman, Ms Aisha Mughal, in its National Delegation at the UN CEDAW committee in Geneva, Switzerland #CEDAWPak #CEDAW75 pic.twitter.com/7Ijco9xkMJ— Ministry of Human Rights (@mohrpakistan) February 13, 2020
“Many transgender women have attended these conventions before but they were representing civil societies,” Mughal said on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Monday. “This was the first time a transgender was a member of a government delegation,” she said.
Mughal regards this as an achievement for the country as it has broken stereotypes and changed perceptions of transgender people. “Pakistan has become an example for the entire world,” she said.
The CEDAW is a committee that works on the discrimination against women and ensures that they have equal access and opportunities in political and public life as well as education, employment, and health. The representatives of every country present reports on their work for the rights of women.
“This was Pakistan’s fifth report on actions taken by the government to empower women,” she explained. Members from all around the world discussed Pakistan’s initiatives and a healthy debate took place.
Mughal has been working with the Ministry of Human Rights as a transgender rights expert and focal person. Her aim is to create a safe environment for transgender persons in the country.
“I have always wanted to break negative stereotypes formed against transgender persons,” she said. “To date, we face problems of acceptance by our families and society.”
“My aim is to ensure implementation of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 because it's a cross-cutting theme,” she said. Mughal believes that different organisations have to work together towards its implementation and strong coordination is required between the government and these organisations.
“I’m also happy as in recent years Pakistan has improved a lot in terms of legal and policy development,” she said.
The ministry has taken a lot of actions that have facilitated transgender persons. “With all the support from the government, I feel proud to be a Pakistani transgender woman,” Mughal added.