Transgender in Bangladesh: First school opens for trans students


Bangladesh’s first religious school for transgender people has opened in Dhaka. More than 150 students will study Islamic and vocational subjects free of charge at the privately-funded seminary, or madrassa, in the capital. Many in the transgender community identify as a third gender which is now officially recognised in the country. They have the right to vote and to stand for election, but conservative social attitudes still make it hard for them to access jobs and education. Some migrate to cities and support themselves by singing and dancing at weddings and births, by begging or through sex work. he government says Bangladesh has about 10,000 hijras, as transgender people are known in South Asia. Other estimates put the number at more than 50,000. Almost all have transitioned from male to female. School officials, local councillors and hijra community leaders attended the opening day at the Dawatul Koran Third Sex Madrassa, which is near Lohar bridge in the Kamrangirchar area of Dhaka. Classes in the three-storey building begin on Saturday.

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