Bangladesh could pay for failing to crack down on its Islamist threat

Bangladesh turned 50 last week and the country has much to celebrate. Having inherited a dismal GDP growth rate of -14 at its birth in 1971, Bangladesh’s most recent figures for the growth in the size of its economy (7.8 per cent) edged out India (6.1 per cent), and comfortably outdid Pakistan (5.8 per cent). Bangladesh overtook India in per capita income last year. And of the 14 World Development Indicators measured by the World Bank – including fertility rate and life expectancy – Bangladesh is faring better than Pakistan in all but one (air pollution), and outranking India in seven. The country’s life expectancy average of 72.3 is ahead

The triumph of Bangladesh’s third gender

Tashnuva Anan Shishir last week became the first transgender person to read the news on Bangladeshi TV. The 29-year-old broke down in tears, overtaken by the momentous occasion, after delivering her first three-minute bulletin on March 8. Shishir reached this milestone after facing years of marginalisation, bullying and sexual assaults. A 2015 study of the media’s coverage of the transgender movement in Bangladesh underlines the mountains of prejudice that Shishir has had to overcome. She now hopes that other transgender people in Bangladesh won’t have to suffer anymore. Transgender people in Bangladesh have made small strides recently in their uphill battle to achieve basic human rights in a society largely