Members of the Hijra community will be included as separate gender identity besides men and women in the upcoming National Census of January 2021, said Mohammad Tajul Islam, Director General of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
"Necessary preparations are completed, the census will start from the beginning of January 2021,"Mohammad Tajul Islam informed in a consultation meeting on 'Inclusion of Hijra /Transgender Community in National Census 2021' during an online conference yesterday, according to a press release of Bandhu.
Bandhu Social Welfare Society and National Human Rights Commission organised the conference.
He also said, "There will be separate option for Hijra gender along with men and women in the specific form for national census."
He added, "As most of them live without family and are often moving, it will be a challenge to include each of them in the national census," Nasima Begum, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, said.
"Self-acceptance is important for every person and that is why Hijra population should include themselves in the national census willingly. For this everyone from the society should come forward along with the family members of Hijras," she said.
She also proposed that people who will work on recording data for census should be trained and oriented well on the Hijras' issues.
Bandhu Social Welfare Society with the help of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics can play a role to train the field-level workers of national census, she said.
With the support of National Human Rights Commission, Bandhu Social Welfare Society is working with Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics to include Hijra people as a separate gender in National Census since 2018.
Habibur Rahman, deputy inspector general of Police, said this is a big achievement for this population after getting Hijra gender recognition.
If the exact number of Hijra population can be determined in census,it will be easier to work for improving their quality of life, he said.
The presented guests in consultation meeting agreed that including Hijra as a gender in National Census will be marked a milestone to achieve 'Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)–2030' for the government.