Pakistan’s transgender news anchor Marvia Malik escapes death

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Pakistan’s first transgender news anchor, Marvia Malik, cheated death when she was attacked by gunmen outside her residence in Lahore on the night of February 23.

According to Dawn, Malik was returning from a pharmacy when two men opened fire. In a statement to the police, Malik claimed she had been receiving frequent threatening calls and messages from unknown numbers. She also claimed that her activism was a “major factor” behind the assassination attempt. 

Malik is currently residing outside Lahore to ensure her safety.

Last year, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) had appealed to the Pakistani government to review the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 as it is not in line with the Shariah,” as “several of its provisions are inconsistent with Islamic principles”.

Who is Marvia Malik

In 2018, Marvia Malik made history by becoming the country’s first transgender news anchor on air. She was born in Lahore in 1997 with two other siblings. She was often bullied and taunted by her classmates as a child and a college student.

“Like other trans people, I did not get any support from my family. On my own, I did some menial jobs and continued my studies. I had always wanted to be a news anchor, and my dream came true when I got selected,” she had said to American broadcaster Voice of America in a telephonic interview.

She worked as a makeup artist to fund her higher studies, before pursuing a career in mass media. She graduated from Lahore’s Punjab University.

In another interview with the news agency Associated Press, she mentioned how even after getting a degree a job was beyond her reach. “Our degrees are of no use…even if we seek jobs, we get rejected due to our identity, I want to change this mindset,” she said.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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