The commission started updating the voters list in Sylhet region on Tuesday
Election Commissioner Kabita Khanam on Tuesday said transgenders, for the very first time in the country's history, would be enrolled as voters under the category of third gender.
“They will also be able to receive state benefits,” she said at the inauguration of the voter registration program at the deputy commissioner’s office in Sylhet.
The Election Commission, on the voter registration form, has recently added “hijra” to denote the third gender along with the other two gender categories: male and female.
Previously, they were registered only as women or men on the national voters list, as there was no third option for the people of this community.
Five years since the state recognized members of the transgender community as the third gender, the Election Commission, by amending the Voter List Act, 2009 and the Voter List Rules, 2012, have included this third category for gender.
According to the report of Department of Social Services, there are about 10,000 transgender people in Bangladesh.
Speaking on the other aspects of voter registration, Kabita said: “Citizens living abroad will be enrolled into the voter list, when they are back in the country.
“Along with enrolling new voters, deceased voters will be dropped from the list. Voters will also able to change their electoral areas.”
The commission will collect data on citizens who are over 16 years old and register citizens who are 18 years old and above, she added.
As per the schedule, the commission started updating the voter list on Tuesday and the information collection process will continue till May 13.