The Government's discussion on the recognition of Hijras, allowing them to identify themselves as third gender in passports and other state documents, was welcomed as a great victory by human rights circles and the Hijra community itself. Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS), which has been vocal in promoting and protection the rights of the Hijra community, organised a Hijra Pride and various other activities in Dhaka and other divisional cities, in November 2014. The activities included round table discussions, beauty pageants, Hena festivals and human chains which aimed to create social awareness about the rights of Hijras and inspiring people to celebrate their gender diversity. During the Hijra Pride, Dhaka witnessed colourful celebrations: Hijras joyfully walked through the busy streets, waving their banners which read “The days of stigma, discrimination and fear are over” up in the air.
There is still more work to be done
GHRD is pleased to congratulate the Hijra community on their recent victory. We have supported our local partners in their efforts to highlight the official recognition of Hijas as a third gender. Hijra Pride celebrations inspired and motivated Hijras and activists to continue to challenge the status quo. The empowering effect of celebrating diversity surpassed the boundaries of the country. However, the true challenge for the rights of Hijras and the hard-fought recognition lies ahead: breaking social stigmas and eliminating violence faced by Hijras on daily basis.
Click here to view the photos from the Hijra Pride.