Aisha Mughal recently attended a seminar at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Her presence sparked some confusion about her position at the university.
Aisha Mughal, Pakistan's first transgender University Lecturer teaches Gender Studies at Quaid e Azam University #PakistanForAll
Reports have been doing the rounds about her being hired by the university. However, a representative from the university clarified to MangoBaaz that she had just been called as a guest speaker.
While she is not a part of the faculty, she visited the institute to talk about gender studies. The transgender community in Pakistan has always been under-represented and has long been the target of immense vilification. The fact that transphobia is widespread in our society is also common knowledge. This news, however small, comes as a breath of fresh air among the tense social and political climate in Pakistan. Moreover, it seems to serve as a hope for change.
When the news broke, it was pretty well received
Many respected the decision
It was seen as a step towards the betterment of the country
It was also considered a step in the direction
People were glad that this news cut through the news of the heavy wave of extremism that has been predominant recently
People talked about how minorities should be given a proper platform
The gesture was rightfully appreciated
Some talked about how this was long overdue
Overall, people were grateful for such progress happening in Pakistan
Because truly, humanity is beyond barriers like gender
However, there was a certain amount of backlash as well
As expected, people did not hold back from voicing their thoughts, even if they were inaccurate
And, of course, sharam and haya were brought into the picture, even if they were completely unrelated to the entire scenario
Despite certain people opposing this positive step, it cannot be refuted that this sparks a ray of hope in the hearts of many.
The fact that many people responded positively to the rumor that she had been appointed as a lecturer, even if the news was untrue, is a relief in itself. Even though this is one of the few initiatives that have been taken to benefit the transgender community by highlighting their plight and stance, it leaves us all with the hope that this is just the beginning. We can only hope to live in a Pakistan one day that doesn’t discriminate or vilify based on gender, and all our minorities have some form of access to the most basic human rights.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of the piece misstated that Aisha was a lecturer. According to QAU representatives MangoBaaz has spoken to, Aisha was a guest speaker for a gender studies seminar.