Pakistani transgender activist Nayyab Ali has been awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights in recognition of her efforts to improve the lives of transgender community. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan’s top transgender activist, Nayyab Ali, has been awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights in recognition of her incredible efforts towards education and inclusion of the transgender community in the mainstream society.

German Ambassador to Pakistan, Bernhard Schlagheck, and French Ambassador, Marc Barety, jointly presented the award to Nayyab Ali to pay tribute to her inspiring engagement in favour of the rights of the members of her community and of vulnerable women and children. The German and French embassies in Islamabad jointly organized the ceremony, held on Thursday at the German Embassy, to mark Human Rights Day (December 10).

This award “is a token of appreciation for her outstanding work on rights of the transgender community in Pakistan. Germany will continue to support you on ‪Human Rights Day and every day” the German ambassador shared on Twitter. The Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law is awarded to 15 human rights defenders, “as a symbol of the common values carried by Germany and France and an illustration of their joint commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights” the official statement said.

Social challenges

Nayyab Ali, transgender rights expert, trainer and entrepreneur, has been actively working on gender and minority inclusion issues. She has also engaged with law enforcement agencies to build their capacities across Pakistan to tackle the political, institutional and social challenges of the transgender community. In 2018, Nayyab was one of the first transgender candidates who ran for Pakistan’s general elections and is the chairperson of All Pakistan Transgender Election Network. She has also established the first school for Okara’s transgender community

Nayyab was recently also awarded ‘Asia Hero Award’ in Thailand for her services to the transgender community. The activist has vowed to continue working for the rights of transgender persons and encourage others to fight for their rights, saying that the awards have given her hope to work and change the world’s perspective towards transgenders. “I was abused for raising voice for my community, which made me feel very insecure and depressed, but at the same time such a great honour gave me enough courage to do work for the community.”