Islamabad, March 28 (Agencies): The family of Pakistani’s first transgender newsreader has disowned her but the country has welcomed her with open arms.
Marvia Malik was hired by news channel Kohinoor and anchored her first segment in prime time on Friday after three months of training.
The journalism graduate, who has also worked as a model, told the BBC she wanted to “scream with joy” when she was offered her dream position.
In a video posted on Twitter, Malik thanks viewers for their love, support and best wishes after many tweeted that the TV station’s selection was a move in the right direction.
Transgender people struggle to find employment in Pakistan and are often forced into prostitution or begging and dancing on the streets to earn money.
Malik told the BBC she hoped her new role would change the stigma of the transgender community.
“Our community should be treated equally and there must not be any gender discrimination,” she said.
Marvia Malik made her debut on the Kohenoor news channel last week, which quickly spread across social media and gained international attention.
Speaking after her first broadcast, Malik expressed her thanks for the support and said she was overwhelmed.
“I got a lot of appreciation from those associated with the fashion industry when I did catwalk modelling two weeks back, and now this … it’s quite overwhelming,” she said to Reuters.
“I was thrown out after (10th grade) after which I joined a beauty salon, earned just about enough to put myself through college, but it was not easy. My story is no different from that of a hijra on the street you see begging.”
Last week the 21-year-old also debuted as the first trans model at Pakistan Fashion Design Council’s annual show shortly before her first broadcast.