Trans human rights activist named on BBC’s 100 Women list

A trans human rights activist has been named on the BBC’s annual 100 Women list for her work in LGBTQ+ advocacy and and defending housing rights.

Rukshana Kapali, who is from Nepal, has appeared on the list alongside other “influential and inspiring women” from across the globe including former US First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and Hollywood star America Ferrera.

“A member of Nepal’s indigenous Newa nation, transgender human rights activist Rukshana Kapali struggled with a lack of information around her identity when she was growing up,” her entry in the list reads.

“She embarked on her own path of self-education around the diversity of gender and sexuality. She came out as a teenager and has been vocal on social media on issues around queer rights.

“She is currently a third-year law student and is actively involved in the advancement of legal and constitutional rights for LGBTQ+ people in Nepal.

“Kapali comes from a historically marginalised caste within the Newa ethnicity, the Jugi, and fights against forced evictions of Jugi people from their traditional homes.”

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(PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking with Nepalese digital newspaper Setopati, Kapali said she awoke to a number of congratulatory messages about being included on the list and was overwhelmed by the attention.

She had already been informed she was included on the list, but had not been sure when it would go live.

“Since my story started appearing in the media, it has had a positive effect on me, my family and myself,” she told the publication.

“People have destroyed the way they looked at me and people like me. I think the BBC’s list will help break down such negatives.”

The BBC’s 100 Women list has taken place every year since 2013 and represents “voices from across the political spectrum and from all areas of society, explored names around topics that split opinion, and nominated women who have created their own change”.