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Pakistan: Transgender candidates up for election for first time00:55

Pakistan: Transgender candidates up for election for first time

Pakistan, Sukhur
April 29, 2013 at 08:06 GMT +00:00 · Published

Pakistan: Transgender candidates up for election for first time

Sanam Fakir is one of only seven transgender candidates in the upcoming Pakistani general elections to be held on May 11.

Fakir, who was born Essa Gul, had a very strict upbringing at home. She was bullied by her brothers and eventually forced out of the family home when she was 15 years old working as a prostitute and a dancer. She is now campaigning for the upcoming elections to the National Assembly in the Pakistani city of Sukhur in Sindh province.

Though a very conservative town, the people of Sukhur have responded positively to Fakir's campaign. She said, "The peoples of Sukhur are too good. They are supporting me very well and their response is very good."

There are an estimated 500,000 transgenders in Pakistan and they are often stereotyped as dancers, beggars and prostitutes. The Pakistani Superme Court recognised the transgender community in 2009, ordering they be issued with separate ID cards. Fakir added, "In the whole world people will give examples that Pakistan is so much democratic where transgender can also contest elections."

The seven transgender candidates who are running for the general election on May 11 are all running as independent candidates with no affiliation to a political party.

Pakistan: Transgender candidates up for election for first time00:55
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Pakistan: Transgender candidates up for election for first time

Sanam Fakir is one of only seven transgender candidates in the upcoming Pakistani general elections to be held on May 11.

Fakir, who was born Essa Gul, had a very strict upbringing at home. She was bullied by her brothers and eventually forced out of the family home when she was 15 years old working as a prostitute and a dancer. She is now campaigning for the upcoming elections to the National Assembly in the Pakistani city of Sukhur in Sindh province.

Though a very conservative town, the people of Sukhur have responded positively to Fakir's campaign. She said, "The peoples of Sukhur are too good. They are supporting me very well and their response is very good."

There are an estimated 500,000 transgenders in Pakistan and they are often stereotyped as dancers, beggars and prostitutes. The Pakistani Superme Court recognised the transgender community in 2009, ordering they be issued with separate ID cards. Fakir added, "In the whole world people will give examples that Pakistan is so much democratic where transgender can also contest elections."

The seven transgender candidates who are running for the general election on May 11 are all running as independent candidates with no affiliation to a political party.

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