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Equality for Transgenders

Apropos the editorial “The Third Sex” (EPW, 26 October 2013), the Bangladesh government made a historic decision when it finally provided its transgender citizens with a definite sexual identity by recognising them as the “third” sex.

Until this year, the government refrained from identifying them as belonging to any other category except male or female, albeit they were given the right to vote in 2008. Their sexual orientation on the National Identity Card (NID), however, remained unspecified. In order to fulfil the primary objective of the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) project launched in Bangladesh, the Election Commission has introduced a separate column in the NID marking their sex as “transgender” with a symbol (T), allowing them access to all processes that require an officially endorsed identity.

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