Nisha Ayub

Nisha Ayub

Content created by Virtual Intern Richard Gray

Nisha Ayub is a prominent advocate for transgender rights and has co-founded two nonprofits in Malaysia that advocate for social justice. Justice for Sisters raises public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution against the transgender community in Malaysia and provides legal defense funds to assist those facing prosecution. Seed’s mission is to empower people who are socially excluded in Malaysia by providing access to a safe space and linking people to resources that will improve quality of life for all.

Ayub has received several awards for her activism, including Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism in 2015, for her opposition to discriminatory Malaysian laws, and the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2016 International Women of Courage Award. Ayub gives credit to the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) for enabling her to engage with Malaysian politicians and inspiring her to advocate more publicly for human rights.

Following her visit to the United States, Ayub founded the first support home in Malaysia specifically for individuals who identify as transgender, funded with donations.

During her visit to San Diego as part of the IVLP, the city proclaimed April 5 “Nisha Ayub Day.” The proclamation by San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer stated: "Nisha Ayub continues to fight for the equality and protection of all people in her country and beyond its borders."

As one of Malaysia’s most prominent transgender activists, Nisha Ayub is changing the world with her advocacy and continues her steadfast fight for equality.

Content edited by Sallie Bestul, Regina Navarro-Gomez, and Jenna Williams

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