Attiya Inayatullah holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology and has had a life-long association with the Family Planning Association of Pakistan. She is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of population planning. Former Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, she has acquired international recognition in the fields of international relations, human rights, gender equality and social development at both the global level and in Pakistan. As a member of the first International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO, she contributed to the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights.
In 1999, she was appointed to the National Security Council of Pakistan. Since then, she has served as Minister of Women's Development, Social Welfare and Special Education. She is currently a member of the National Assembly.
Attiya Inayatullah was awarded in 1974 the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Ceres Medal.