A photo book, “Leaving no one behind: Hijra lives in Bangladesh,” was jointly launched by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Bangabandhu International Convention Centre, Dhaka on Thursday.
More than half of the Hijras, members of the third gender community, experience violence, discrimination and abandonment or sexual assault and abuse at an early age in their families.
Moreover, they face extreme discrimination when practicing their fundamental and civic rights and in any bureaucracy that is unable to place them into male or female gender categories.
Many are forced to confine themselves to earning a living from performing at ceremonies, begging or engaging in sex work.
What’s inside the book?
The coffee table style photo book takes the reader into the everyday life of third gender people across the country, giving them an insight into the hardships of their lives.
Jhunjhuni from Dhaka, one of the third gender representatives, said in the book: “We were born in our mother’s womb just like you. Then how is being a Hijra our crime?”
“NHRC and UNDP will continue taking initiatives to ensure human rights are respected for all, regardless of their gender,” said Nazrul Islam, a member of NHRC.
“If Bangladesh were to do this successfully, it would be another first achievement for Bangladesh under the essence of SDGs, to leave no one behind,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP Bangladesh Country Director.
Third gender people face extreme discrimination when practicing their fundamental and civic rights | Nirjhor Shahriar
The nation legally recognised Hijra as a third gender and is creating opportunities for them to get government employment.
The photo book is funded by UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) Innovation Fund.
The content was designed using a life-cycle approach, highlighting the early years, present, future hopes, and aspirations of the Hijras.