16 Days of Activism 2018 - Blog

Being blind and a woman, made her more susceptible to discrimination in our society. However, this did not hold back Saima to stand up for her rights.

Posted By ITA Team

ITA

Saima Saleem stands as a role model for women to stand up for their rights. Being blind and a woman, made her more susceptible to discrimination in our society. However, this did not hold her back to stand up for her rights.

Like her sister and brother, Saima was born blind but with a strong determination to excel. Saima has an M.Phil. in English Literature and appeared in the CSS exam for which she secured 6th position overall, and the number one position among women.  This made her the first blind woman to be appointed in the civil services. Since then she has been working on Human Rights and has been appointed as the Second Secretary on Human Rights at Pakistan permanent mission at the United Nations in Geneva.

Her battle to achieve what she has today has been a rough one indeed. She chose to join Foreign Services but the Federal Public Services Commission at that time did not allow people with disabilities to do so. She stood up for her rights, and took the matter to the government. As a result she accepted and topped all trainings and was offered a scholarship in USA at the Georgetown University, School of Foreign Services. Unlike that time, the Federal Cabinet now allows people with special needs to take the CSS exams and enter the civil services.