In a first, Pakistan hires transgender news anchor to show support for transgender community

A local news channel in Pakistan has hired the countries first ever transgender news anchor to show support for the countries transgender population.

Kohenoor News went on-air on Saturday with a transgender person on the screen as a news anchor and the news quickly went viral on social media with many appreciating the move by the media organisation.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a key bill to ensure the third gender’s protection against sexual and physical assaults and harassment.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) (Protection of Rights of Transgender Persons) Act 2017 criminalised a host of offences against a transgender person and has more stringent punishments to the perpetrators.

According to the bill, kidnapping, abducting or inducing a transgender person to have illicit intercourse shall be punishable with life imprisonment and fine.

Depriving a transgender person from inheriting property shall be punished with 5-year to 10-year imprisonment or with a fine of Rs1 million or both.

Unlawful eviction of a transgender person from any place shall be punishable with up six-month to two-year imprisonment or fine up to Rs100,000.

The move follows a month of good news for the transgender community in Pakistan which saw Pakistan agree to send a team of more than 150 boy scouts to Saudi Arabia to serve as Khuddamul Hujjaj or volunteers during Hajj 2018.

Many across Pakistan took to social media to show their support to the news channel.

Dr Mehmood Riaz said: ‘MashaAllah great move. We must give and provide equal opportunities for them rather they will bagging dancing of the road. They deserve education and to be respected as well. Bravo to this news channel.’

Netra Parikh said: ‘Wahh…that’s really nice and impressive.’

Khadeejah said: ‘They are humans too… If they want to spend their life with respect, we should appreciate rather than make fun of them…’

Awaan said: ‘Good step in right direction. They are human being they have equal rights.’