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Bangladesh lawmakers call for trans inheritance rights

Hijras cannot inherit property in the conservative Muslim country

Bangladesh lawmakers call for trans inheritance rights

Bangladeshi lawmakers have called for more rights for transgender women, whom the government recognized as a third gender a year ago today.

Proposals for inheritance rights and schools for hijras were made at a seminar in Dhaka on Sunday, which was part of Hijra Pride – the first LGBTI pride event in the conservative Muslim country.

Transgender women were given the right identify as hijra on state papers last year but activists complain that no further progress on hijra rights has been made.

‘The hijras are not only deprived of their family property, they can’t even claim it as there is no law in the country for the purpose. I recommend, if the law is enacted, it must let them choose if they want to inherit their part of the family property as a male heir or a female one,’ advocate Tarana Halim, MP was quoted by the Independent.

Men inherit more than women under Sharia law, which is applied to inheritance and marriage in Bangladesh.

‘While enacting law for the hijra community we should keep in mind that the law must not limit their human rights,’ Halim said.

AKM Nurun Nabi, vice chancellor of Begum Rokeya University, recommended setting up schools for hijras, who are often bullied by their classmates.

‘There should be a counsellor in every school who will be counselling the hijra students and also other students to make them accept the hijras as their normal schoolmates,’ the lawmaker said.

Hijra leaders urged the government to ensure their safety and basic rights at the Hijra Pride press conference in October.

‘We are still not entitled to our inheritance like our siblings under the rule of law,’ the Dhaka Tribune quoted Bobi Hijra, executive director of Shustho Jibon, as saying.

‘The sooner the government took action in this regard, the sooner it would get better for us.’

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