I must say, this is a pretty awesome development. A small group of transgender candidates will be putting up their hand to run for office in the upcoming Pakistan elections. 13 was the initial number of the group who planned to stand, but it has been reported that many of them have dropped out due to not having enough money to run. Those who remain ( around 4) will be standing to have a voice against the violence, ridicule and discrimination transgender Pakistanis face and experience. I am seriously going to follow this election closely. SBS News Australia continues this story:
One of the four transgender candidates standing for office is Nayyab Ali, the national spokesperson for the All Pakistan Transgender Election Network.
Her experience mirrors that of many transgender people in Pakistan, having been a victim of violence and ridicule.
Ali was reportedly forced to leave home at the age of 13 and later attacked with acid by a former boyfriend.
She told Time that “the transgender community is progressing slowly in Pakistan – we’re finding positions in various industries like education and journalism”.
“But the real change-making power lies in politics, which is why I’m contesting the elections this year. We need to be part of the legislative process to better our community,” she said.
She told the BBC that a spike in violence against the transgender community spurred her to run.
“Transgender people are being murdered now. There used to be incidents of beating and acid attacks… but these days they just kill us,” she said.
It’s a point known all too well by fellow-transgender candidate Maria Khan.
“I barely survived an assassination attempt when shots were fired at my house in Mansehra. There are still bullet holes all over my front door,” she said.
I think this will be an election to watch. I will leave my post here.
Images via SBS News Australia
To read the original article, please click on: Transgender candidates hope to make history in Pakistan election