Transgender persons rights activist Nayab Ali. - A file photo

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s transgender rights activist, politician and social activist Nayab Ali has become first Pakistani transgender person to win the annual Gala Award in Ireland.

The Gala Award function is held in Ireland’s capital Dublin every year in which awards are given in 17 categories. This year awards were given in 17 categories, including the International Activist category, which went to Pakistan.

Nayab Ali was recommended for the International Activist Award last year. Some transgender persons from three other countries were also nominated, but the award eventually went to Nayab Ali. Nayab has become the first Pakistani transgender person being nominated and winning the prestigious award.

The said award is sponsored by Amnesty International (AI) and other global rights institutions. Different institutions nominated transgender persons from different countries for the award.

Although Nayab Ali could not attend the award ceremony due to health reasons despite travelling to Dublin, but she thanked the event organisers for recognition of her work and services. In a video message, Nayab Ali vowed to continue to work for the rights to transgender persons and encourage others to fight for their rights.

The international award winning Nayab Ali also has the distinction of being the first transgender person in Pakistan to register his company with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Nayab Ali is working for rights of transgender persons for the last one decade. She has also set up a ‘Khawaja Sira Community Centre’ for providing education and technical training to transgender persons in Okara city of Punjab province.

Nayab Ali is also chairperson of All Pakistan Transgender Network. He is among the very few transgender persons who contested the general elections in the year 2018 along with 12 others. Although, she remained unsuccessful during the elections, but she pave the way for other transgender persons to contest elections in future. Nayab is tirelessly working for the rights of transgender persons and serving as role model for others to follow.

Nayab Ali is highly educated as she has completed BSc (Hons) in Botany from the Punjab University (PU) and Masters in International Relations from Islamabad’s Preston University (IPU).