Participants of an online consultation meeting on ‘Inclusion of Hijra/Transgender community in National Census 2021’
Participants of an online consultation meeting on ‘Inclusion of Hijra/Transgender community in National Census 2021’Courtesy

xsinh Besides the male and female, hijra (transgenders) will be included as a separate gender in the upcoming National Population Census to begin in January 2021, said Mohammad Tajul Islam, director general of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

“All necessary preparation is complete. The census will start from the beginning of January 2021,” Mohammad Tajul said at an online consultation meeting on ‘Inclusion of Hijra/Transgender community in National Census 2021’.

The programme was jointly organised by Bandhu Social Welfare Society and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday.

Advertisement

“There will be separate gender options for transgenders along with the existing male and female options in the national census form,” he said.

As most of them live a floating life without their families, it will be a big challenge to include each of them in the national census
Mohammad Tajul Islam, BBS director general

Tajul presumed there would be problems to find the exact number of transgender population in Bangladesh. “As most of them live a floating life without their families, it will be a big challenge to include each of them in the national census.”

Nasima Begum, NHRC chairman, said, “Self-acceptance is important for every person and that is why transgender population should include themselves in the national census willingly. Everyone should come forward along with their families in ths regard.”

Advertisement

She also said, people who working on recording data for the census should be trained and oriented well on the transgender issue. Bandhu Social Welfare Society with the help of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics can play an important role to train the field workers of the national census.

With the support of NHRC, Bandhu Social Welfare Society has been working with Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics to include transgender as a separate gender in national census since 2018.

Addressing the online meeting, Habibur Rahman, Deputy Inspector General of Police expressed his gratitude towards Bandhu Social Welfare Society for their initiative to include transgender in the national census as a separate gender.

Advertisement

He said that this would be a big achievement for this section of the population. If the exact number of transgender people can be determined, it will be easier to work for improving the quality of their lives.

The participants of the consultation meeting agreed that including transgender as a separate gender in the national census will be marked as a milestone to achieve ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-2030’ for the government.