Marvia Malik is the first ever transgender journalist in Pakistan and this has cause massive positive comments viewing this as progress for transgender rights in Pakistan.
The 21-year-old made her first on-air appearance on March 23rd which made her go viral on social media.
Malik, a trainee anchor at Lahore-based channel Kohenoor News, is pleased with the attention that she’s received but insists more needs to be done when it comes to improving the lives of Pakistan’s transgender community.
A graduate of journalism from Punjab University, Malik told CNN she applied for the position since she wanted to prove that people from the transgender community “are capable of any job, and can do anything they want.” “I want to show the country that we are more than objects of ridicule … that we are also human,” she said.
Malik said she realized she was transgender “at a very young age.” She is estranged from her family and has been providing for herself financially since she was 15 years old.
“I want the next generation of young transgender kids to look up to me as an inspiration that they can be accepted and that there can be opportunities for them,” Malik said. Disowned by their families and without access to job opportunities many from the transgender community are forced into prostitution and begging, according to Naz, an NGO that provides healthcare for the LGBT community in Pakistan.
According to Pakistan’s most recent census in 2017, which recorded the country’s transgender population for the first time, there are close to 10,000 individuals who identify as transgender across the country of almost 200 million. Earlier this month the country’s senate passed a landmark bill to protect the rights of the country’s transgender community.
The bill’s provisions include enabling individuals the right to change their gender on national identity cards, inherit property and not be discriminated against if pursuing a seat in public office.