"Transgender Equality and Visibility in Pakistan"

Aradhiya Khan Jack
Posted November 27, 2019
Smile and Spread Happiness

My name is Aradhiya Khan and I'm a 21-year-old Pakistani transwoman activist, social worker, blogger and community mobilizer who has dedicated the past four years of my life towards promoting transgender equality, human rights and other social justice causes such as child rights, women empowerment and minority rights . I'm currently working with the Akhuwat since January 2019, which is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote social and economic inclusion of the transgender community by supporting the underprivileged and old age transwomen through small loans, vocational training and other financial assistance programs. I've also consulted on transgender human rights legislation notably, the 'Transgender Protection Bill (2018)'. I've actively represented the transgender community on national and international media outlets such as Express Tribune, Dawn News, Geo News, Al Jazeera, Asia Times, VOA Urdu and Independent Urdu etc highlighting the plight of Pakistan's transgender community through awareness sessions and public speaking presentations at various non-profit organizations, universities and schools throughout the country where I've advocated for greater rights, acceptance and inclusion for Pakistan's gender and sexual minorities. As a transgender social worker, I've extensively served the transgender community of Pakistan and has been selected for national human rights and media training fellowships at Mehergarh – A Center For Learning, Aahung, CEJ-IBA and FAFEN etc. I've also volunteered for various transgender and youth-led organizations such as Sub Rang Society, LifeSavors, PECHRA, FAFEN, and Aahung etc. In July 2019, I was able to push forward with a memorandum of understanding between our organization Akhuwat and Unilever Pakistan to work on a diversity and inclusion program which aimed at creating employment opportunities at a multinational organization for the transgender community for the very first time in Pakistan. In October 2019, I was selected as the youngest transgender participant of the United States (US) State Department-funded International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) which is a premier professional and cultural exchange program. Through a one-month-long trip to five cities (Washington DC, Buffalo, Seattle, Portland and New York City) in the United States, as an emerging youth leader, I was able to experience US firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with my American counterparts promoting LGBTQ+ equality and highlighting my work as a transgender activist from Pakistan. I've been a selfless and passionate advocate for LGBT+ equality in Pakistan and in April 2017 have volunteered for Aks Festival which is a global initiative that promotes dialogue on LGBT rights, transgender visibility and human rights through films, art and dialogue (www.aksfestival.com). Since 2016, I've been an advocate for sexual rights and reproductive health after I've been part of a Rutgers International funded project called “HYPE-Karachi” which was an advocacy network for reproductive health advocates, health care professionals and LGBT youth to highlight the importance of gender equality and reproductive health rights in Pakistan (http://www.rutgers.international). Since 2017, I continue to serve as a transgender ambassador and consultant for “Queeristan,”, which is Pakistan's first LGBTQ magazine and e-collective for gender and sexual minorities in the country. (https://medium.com/@QueeristanPK) #IStandwithHer

Comments 6

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Jensine Larsen
Nov 27, 2019
Nov 27, 2019

Dear Aradhiya Khan Jack -
It is an honor to welcome you to the World Pulse community. Thank you for your tireless and devoted efforts, raising your voice for a truly inclusive society that values trans, LGBTQI, nonbinary, women, minority and children's rights. It is not an easy road, hopefully this place can be a safe one to receive comfort and solidarity. I am sure you have shifted history already, and we are cheering you on, looking for ways to support the legislation, social norm change and pop culture change that you are leading!

Anita Shrestha
Nov 28, 2019
Nov 28, 2019

Dear Sis
Thank you very much

Jill Langhus
Nov 29, 2019
Nov 29, 2019

Hello Aradhiya,

Welcome to World Pulse:-) Wow! You're amazing, and so young, too! I'm so impressed by how brave you are, what you're involved and what you've achieved so far. Bravo! Keep going, dear. You have an amazing mission and life purpose there. I'm very inspired by you and your story! I'm also looking forward to seeing more posts from you and seeing more updates from you!

XX

Maya Iwata
Nov 30, 2019
Nov 30, 2019

Dear Aradhiya- So delighted that you have joined the World Pulse community and are sharing your rich experiences and expertise. Love that you are serving as a transgender ambassador and consultant for "Queeristan!" Thank you for posting the Medium link, I'll check it out. So appreciate your work with Akhuwat and also creating structural change by advocacy for policy. Hope you keep on sharing about your work on World Pulse. If you do not already know this NGO advocacy organization https://outrightinternational.org/ or this LGBTQI funder https://www.astraeafoundation.org/apply/ you may want to check them out. Warmest wishes! Maya

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Dec 01, 2019
Dec 01, 2019

Hello Dear Aradhiya,
Thank you so much for being brave. I know it is not easy at all but you have decided to take the bold step. All the best in your endeavors, I know it is not an easy road but with determination and courage you will achieve your goals in the long run.
Have a lovely day.

Beth Lacey
Dec 04, 2019
Dec 04, 2019

Welcome to World Pulse