Gender Wiki

A group of Hijra in Bangladesh

In the culture of South Asia, hijras (Hindi: हिजड़ा, Urdu: ہِجڑا, Bengali: হিজড়া, Telugu: హిజ్ర) or khusra in Punjabi and kojja in Telugu are assigned male at birth people who adopt feminine gender identity, women's clothing and other feminine gender roles.

Since the late 20th century, some hijra activists and Western non-government organizations (NGOs) have been lobbying for official recognition of the hijra as a kind of "third sex" or "third gender," as neither man nor woman.

Hijra are gaining more recognition and prominence through Asia, evidenced by the election of Shobha Nehru in 1998 to city council in Hissar, Haryana (India) and the newly passed law in 2013 that allows hijra in Pakistan to run for political office, though as of this writing any hijra have yet to be voted into power in Pakistan.

The Hindi term hijra comes from the Arabic word by analogy: hijras are seen as 'fleeing' from their birth gender much the same way as Muhammad(peace be upon him) fled from Mecca.