Pakistan's First Transgender News Anchor Takes Social Media By Storm

Marvia Malik appeared on TV on March 23

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Pakistan's First Transgender News Anchor Takes Social Media By Storm

Marvia Malik appeared as a news anchor for Kohenoor News.


A local news channel in Pakistan, Kohenoor TV, has claimed to be the first in the country to hire a transgender person as a news anchor. According to local reports, the channel hired Marvia Malik as a newscaster, and she first appeared on-air on March 23. The news was first reported by Pakistan-based journalist Shiraz Hassan on Twitter, where it quickly went viral:
 
In an interview to BBC Urdu, Marvia said that she hopes to do something for the transgender community in Pakistan. "Our community should give equal rights to men, women and the third gender," she said.

Speaking to VOA News, Kohenoor TV's owner Junaid Ansari said that Marvia was selected on the basis of merit and not gender.

"We had asked aspiring news presenters to come for the auditions. I got a call from one of my team members who said that one of the applicants was a transgender," he said, adding he decided to hire Marvia despite some reservations expressed by his team. "I purely made the decision on the basis of treating all humans equally. The thought of challenging the social norms or breaking taboos did not even come to my mind," he said.

Kohenoor News shared a picture of Marvia on Facebook which has received almost 5,000 'likes' in just two days.
 
 
 


According to local reports, Lahore-based Marvia, who has wrongly been referred to as Maavia on social media, previously worked as a model, even walking the runway at Pakistan Fashion Design Council's fashion week. Some reports suggest she has her bachelor's degree in journalism and is now planning to apply for a masters of arts degree.

Social media users hailed Marvia's appointment as a step in the right direction:
 
Earlier this month, Pakistan's Senate unanimously approved a bill for the protection of rights of transgender persons, empowering them to determine their own gender identity.


 
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