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In historical first for Bangladesh, transgenders to run for Parliament

15 14 33

FOR the first time in Bangladesh’s history, transgender candidates who identify as women can vie for the 50 seats reserved for women in the upcoming elections in the Jatiya Sansad or National Parliament.

The election schedule is due to be announced on Feb 17, and so far, eight members of the transgender community have been confirmed as running on the Awami League party ballot, which is the first and only political party in the nation to allow this.

The Bangladesh National Parliament has 50 seats among a total 350 reserved exclusively for women, according to Article 65 of the national Constitution.

In Bangladesh, transgender people are categorised as “hijra” (a term referring to a member of the third sex) on their national identity card.

SEE ALSO: Transgenderism no longer listed as ‘mental illness’

However, there is no specific provision in the Constitution that prevents members of the hijra community from running for the 50 reserved seats. According to Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, any eligible woman, including hijras who identify as women, can qualify for the reserved seats.

For Falguni, one of the eight transgender candidates, running for office means representing the whole transgender community:

“We are citizens of Bangladesh but we have no representation in the parliament. There is no one from........

© Asian Correspondent