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Discrimination and social exclusion of third-gender population (Hijra) in Bangladesh: A brief review
, Bablu Kumar Dhar,

The Hijra community is marginalized in social, political, and economic life and especially stigmatized in society. It is their birthright to make use of society's opportunities and amenities. This overview aimed to summarize the stigma, prejudice, exclusions, and discriminatory attitudes toward third-gender populations (Hijra) in Bangladesh from the mainstream society based on a critical assessment of available data and evidence. The paper also explored the socio-economic situation of the third-gender community in Bangladesh regarding income, education, health, housing, social relations, and outcome through a critical literature review. Here, we have highlighted the magnitudes of social exclusion that the Hijra minority group in Bangladesh experiences. The Hijra in Bangladesh faces severe mistreatment due to socio-cultural norms. This minority group suffers from extreme social, cultural, political, and economic exclusion in Bangladesh. Their livelihood is different than other communities in the society. The primary source of income for hijras in Bangladesh is begging and prostitution. They have no access within civil society, even in times of recreational and marital practices. People are unreasonably afraid of their presence in public places. Apart from that, they are physically and psychologically abused and deprived of appropriate medical and civil support. Hijras are deprived of government facilities and are accustomed to miserable lifestyles in Bangladesh. They are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged minority as they lack access to quality services, health care, and employment opportunities. Social recognition and financial independence may be the first step to alleviating discrimination toward the third-gender population. Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should be concerned about ensuring the rights of the Hijra community must be protected.

Bangladesh; COVID-19 pandemic; Discriminatory attitudes; Hijra community; Prejudice; Third gender.
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