Friday, 21 January, 2022

Removing gender bias with humanity

Removing gender bias with humanity

We heartily congratulate Nazrul Islam Ritu, a transgender, for being elected as the chairman of Trilochanpur Upazila Parishad in Kaliganj Upazila of Jhenaidah as an independent candidate recently. Ritu defeated the Awami League candidate in the polls by a big margin of 5,052 votes. We must felicitate Ritu for having the courage to participate in the local government election and win. It is not a mean feat for even an ordinary person, therefore, it is more remarkable for a transgender. Participating in elections is not easy even for veteran politicians, imagine how tough it must have been for an independent candidate like Ritu! Nothing can be gained without taking that courageous first step towards a goal. So, it is time we celebrated the courage of Nazrul Islam Ritu for setting a bold example for others to follow.

It is not the first time that a transgender has joined public life in Bangladesh. Sadia Akter Pinky, a transgender, was elected vice-chairman of Kotchandpur Upazila Parishad in Jhenaidah in 2019. Then back in April 2016, Shamsun Nahar Hira got elected as a member from the reserved seat in Chandhupail Upazila Parishad of Natore district. Transgenders Arifa Yasmin Moyuri is organising secretary of Jamalpur unit of Bangladesh Mohila Awami League, Faridul Islam Jonak is the convener of Jubo Mohila League of ward 58 unit of Dhaka South City Corporation.

It is most remarkable that the voters overwhelmingly cast their vote in Ritu’s favour over the ruling party candidate, which shows a broadminded acceptance of a transgender in the eyes of the public. Therefore, it is also a time to celebrate the change of mindset of the people who voted Ritu and other third gender members into power. This demonstrates that the people are now looking at the ability of a candidate instead of displaying any gender bias. Then there is Tashnuva Anan Shishir, who made history in becoming Bangladesh’s first-ever transgender woman news presenter on a television channel. She has also been featured in the prestigious Time Magazine's top 100 best photos of 2021.

It is worth celebrating that our people are not discriminating for petty gender bias. We hope that the broad mindset of the people will continue. It is like a rainbow at a time when dark clouds of violence shroud local government elections. This raises our hope that humanity is still very much here.