Last week, junior Aneesha Asthana was on a panel of speakers as part of a parallel event to the United Nations’ 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The virtual event was hosted by Rose Academies, an organization that provides health care education to people in rural Uganda. Asthana, who is the global youth ambassador for Rose Academies, spoke on the experience of being a trans non-binary person and how it shaped her view of the importance of access to health care.
“My experience … was not only about the more well-known processes of coming out but it also sparked a years-long search for vital information about my health and my identity,” Asthana said. Her findings indicated that misconceptions of the LGBTQ+ community were still widespread, even in the supposedly forward-thinking Silicon Valley. She added that living in a wealthier part of the world granted her enormous privilege, noting that she has much greater access to important information about her own health than rural Ugandans. Asthana also delved into the importance of health education for Ugandan women, which makes up a large part of Rose Academies’ work.
Asthana’s full speech can be viewed on the recording of the event, starting at 45 minutes and 30 seconds.