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DHAKA – A Bangladesh jeans manufacturer has welcomed two members of Bangladeshi’s 10,000-strong transgender community on board. In an enlightened, taboo-breaking move, Denim Expert Ltd is working with sexual minorities campaigning organisation, the BANDHU Social Welfare Society, to offer work opportunities to people who are transgender.

Shima Akthar and Dilruba Akther, members of Bangladesh’s transgender community, are joining the business as a junior safety assistant and junior supervisor accordingly. In doing so, Denim Expert has become the first company in Bangladesh to take steps towards transgender inclusion.

Denim Expert’s founder and CEO, Mostafiz Uddin, said: “I’m proud to state that they have both started working in my factory.

“They’re delighted with their employment as they never thought that they would have the opportunity to secure gainful employment given the stigmatisation they face in society.

“As an entrepreneur, not only am I passionate about all aspects of the denim industry, I also believe everyone should benefit from the world of work.”

“Members of the transgender community must be given the opportunity to find gainful employment and in doing so, contribute to society and to the nation as a whole.”

On her new employment, Dilruba said: “Denim Expert Ltd. is not just a company – it is like a family to me. All of the employees treat me with respect and help me in my work. Having joined the company, I feel more accepted by society.

“Before I joined Denim Expert Ltd. my family disrespected me and did not communicate with me,” she said, “but now we have regular contact.”

Shima added: “I feel proud that I am an employee in the garment sector and that I no longer rely on the charity of others.

“All the employees of Denim Expert Ltd. are very supportive and have accepted us very positively.

“MD Mostafiz Uddin respects me, and the company management team is also very helpful.

“I am trying my level best to do my job successfully.”

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