Breaking barriers: Meet Marvia Malik, Pakistan’s first transgender news anchor who is making waves on the Internet

By: | Published: March 27, 2018 11:39 AM

The decision is being hailed as a historic first for the nation and a video of the transgender woman has now gone viral on social media.

The announcement to hire Marvia Malik, a transgender, as a news anchor was made by Kohenoor News in an elaborate ceremony. (Youtube grab)

In a first in the history of Pakistani media, a local news channel by the name of Kohenoor News has hired the country’s first transgender news anchor at the time of its relaunch. The announcement to hire Marvia Malik, a transgender, as a news anchor was made by Kohenoor News in an elaborate ceremony. The decision is being hailed as a historic first for the nation and a video of the transgender woman has now gone viral on social media. Commenting on the job as a news anchor, Malik said that she applied for the post when the vacancies were advertised. She then appeared for an interview over three months ago and was hired on the same day.

Who is Marvia Malik

• Malik holds a bachelors degree in journalism. She has now applied for admission in masters of arts programme in the same field.
• She claims to have read the basics of journalism and civics and has also been dabbled in modeling.
• Earlier this month, she walked the runway at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) fashion week in Lahore.
• She has received several modeling offers.
• Malik was determinant to become either a journalist or a lawyer and did not want to end up where her fellow transgenders do – dancing on the streets, begging and trafficking.
• Just like she created history in the fashion industry, she is motivated enough to do the same in the media industry as well.
• She wants to do something for her community that she feels is way behind.
• She also wants to push for a law making mandatory for families to give transgender persons their share in property as a boy or girl is.

Malik underscored that she has faced abuse of all kinds, but asserted that such things have only made her a stronger person. She said that she was determined to make a name for herself during her two-year intermediate from a boys’ college. Talking about the people of her community, she said that there’s nothing a transgender person can’t do. She said that people of her community are educated and have degrees, but get no opportunities or encouragement to perform.

Malik scoffed at the fact that Pakistan has been independent for long but transgenders do not enjoy the same rights as any other individual in the country. Only claims have been made and promises of quota in government jobs, but nothing has come out of it, Malik said.

In her next move, Malik is planning to push for a country-wide law making it compulsory for a family to give a share in their property to a transgender person of the family, as they would to any boy or girl. According to Malik, transgenders are forced to dance and beg because they have no other means to make ends meet. When they are shunned by families, they have nowhere else to go, she said. Talking about her friends, she said that they have masters degrees, but don’t have jobs which is why they end up on streets or become sex workers. Therefore, if a transgender is disowned, she can make a living out of the share in the property.

The channel’s CEO, Junaid Mahmood Ansari, said that he had never planned to take such a step. However, the job application that they received from Malik, changed his mind and he did not see a reason why a deserving person like Malik should not be appointed if she had fulfilled the criteria.

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