Pakistan’s third gender community has been one of the most oppressed and discriminated ones in the society. This differentiation begins from their family who banish them from their homes since they don't fit into the culturally defined gender norms of the country. Marvia Malik, is one such example out of many who have dared to oppose the norms and become an inspiration to many. A news presenter, Mariva struggled to lead a life just like any of us. Unfazed by family's abandonment and social stigma, journalist Marvia continues to break the barriers, she challenged discrimination as Pakistan’s first trans news anchor.
She anchors an evening news show in a private broadcaster Kohenoor after three months of training. Earlier this year, Marvia Malik made headlines which has proved to be a historic move in Pakistan. After her remarkable achievement Malik has become a popular face now. In a recent interview with NBC News she said, “There are a lot of people who like me and know me, and even take selfies with me.” The trans TV anchor recalled how her parents have abandoned her after they discovered their identity and what it is to lead a life without a support from the closed ones.
Watch Transgender TV Anchor Marvia Malik!
“It’s difficult to live alone. And be alone. Even cook alone. Go to work alone. I often feel lonely and I wish there was someone with me,” said Marvia who has also turned as a transgender activist now. She vows to change the attitude that many Pakistanis still has against the third gender community. “Everywhere you go, you have to face a lot of harassment and catcalling,” adds Malik.
Pakistan had a dubious history marked by discrimination against the transgender community. In June 2016, a 23-year-old transgender activist who was shot eight times died after delays in receiving medical treatment. Localities estimated that since 2015, around 57 trans women have been killed in the country.
After lot of struggles, recently Pakistan passed a landmark bill, The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act which allows people to choose their gender and to have that identity recognised on official documents including national IDs, passports and driver’s licenses. The bill further prohibits discrimination in school, at work on public modes of transit and also while getting medical care. As the countries around the world are redefining their laws in support of gender equality, more success stories like Marvia Malik give inspiration to many.