Two transgender candidates vie for parliament seats


ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: Two transgender candidates from Islamabad and Peshawar have submitted their nomination papers to run in the upcoming general election on February 8, 2024.

They are among the few transgender people who have ever contested for a seat in Pakistan’s parliament.

Nayab Ali, who is running for the National Assembly seat NA-47 in Islamabad, said she would work for the rights of women and slum dwellers if elected. She said that 500,000 of Islamabad’s 1.1 million voters are women, and they need better representation.

Subia Khan, who is running for the provincial assembly seat (KP-18) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said she would work for the rights of women and children of her community.

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She is the first transgender radio jockey in the province and holds a bachelor’s degree. She is contesting the election as an independent candidate and has been campaigning actively.

In 2018, only one transgender person, Maria, participated in the general election from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and received 536 votes, which was more than the votes of some female candidates.

Pakistan has introduced some progressive laws for the transgender community in recent years, such as allowing them to self-identify their gender on official documents and granting them the right to vote and run for office. However, transgender people still face discrimination, harassment, and violence in the society.

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