Transgender women in Bangladesh can now run for the parliament!

For the first time in the political history of Bangladesh, transgenders who identify as women will be able to run for elections. This is a step towards advancing their place in the society and providing much needed recognition from the government.

What place do they hold in the parliament?

The transgender community can now compete for the 50 seats reserved for women in upcoming elections in the National Parliament. According to various news sources, the ruling party is willing to allow at least one MP from the transgender community.

Eight members of the transgender community were confirmed on the Awami League party ballot, which is still the first and only political party in the nation to allow this. This decision brings a touch of hope and celebrates diversity.

Why was this recognition necessary?

Bangladesh as a state itself might reject the regulations of radical Islam, but it has a long way to go to accept the LGBTQ community.

“We are citizens of Bangladesh but we have no representation in the parliament. There is no one from our community who can understand and raise our concerns. That is why we are running for the seats.”

Said Falguni, one of the aspirants, in an interview with Dhaka Tribune

In Bangladesh, there are controversies and laws against same sex marriage and consensual relationship between LGBTQ+ members. However, if the transgender community can represent themselves these would be a step in improving their conditions and moving towards more just laws and equitable policies. There is a general lack of awareness and stigma. Transgender rights, correct identification and acknowledgement of sexuality and gender is a huge issue. LGBTQ folks face an intensely hostile environment in their homes and society, often, compromising their safety.

Out of 160 million people, an estimated ten thousand to half a million belong to the transgender community. The engagement of transgender citizens competing for a seat under the National Parliament might bring in much needed changes.

In our own homes, it’s time we address the word “hijra” as a gender not a word to demean a community who have equal rights and freedom as any other gender of this society.

Everything you need to know about the elections and what happens after

It’s election day. If you had cast your vote, congratulations! You have successfully exercised your democratic rights. Just in case you were wondering how the entire electoral process works in Bangladesh, we got you covered. Here’s a quick roundup:

What is the type of Government we have?

In Bangladesh we have a parliamentary democratic republic.

How many seats are there in the parliament?

In the parliament or the house of the nation, there are 350 seats. Among these, 50 seats are reserved for women. The rest of the 300 seats are for elected candidates from 300 constituencies across the country, including the to-be prime minister.

When will a party win?

A single party or a coalition of parties can secure win if at least 150 out of the 300 seats are won by them. The winning party or coalition will then go on to form the government.

Everything you need to know about the Elections in Bangladesh and what happens after
Your vote matters, thank you for voting! Image: Brainscape

What is a Hung Parliament?

If a party/coalition cannot get 150 of its candidates elected, it will be declared a hung parliament.

In that case, the party/coalition will have to form alliance with some of the other elected representatives to secure 150 seats in total.

What happens if no party/coalition secure 150 seats?

If no party/coalition secures 150 seats at all, then there will be another election according to EC rules. And in the interregnum, the country will be run by an incumbent government.

How is government formed?

The president of the country is largely a ceremonial figure who is elected by direct votes from the 300 members of the parliament.

The president appoints the leader of the winning party/coalition as the prime minister.


The prime minister then forms the cabinet from the elected members of the parliament and forms the government.

What is cabinet?

The cabinet of ministers is the collective decision making body of the government under the Prime Minister’s office. 90% of the cabinet ministers should be elected MPs of the house of the nation. The rest 10% can be technocrat ministers.

Who are technocrat ministers?

Technocrat ministers are ministers who are not directly elected members of the parliament or even not directly affiliated with the ruling party/coalition. Technocrat ministers are often elected based on their expertise on the relevant fields.