Third Gender for Nepal
The Nepalese government has begun issuing citizenship certificates designated “third gender” for trans and intersex people who do not identify as male or female.
Bhola Siwakoti, a senior official in the home ministry, told AFP, "We have sent circulars to our district administrative offices in all 75 districts to implement this new regulation. From now on, anyone who wants such an identity can apply for one."
Sunilbabu Pant (pictured) of Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society told the press the simple and clear guidelines for issuing the certificates should make life easier for sex and gender diverse minorities.
“This decision has made it easier for those who don’t identify themselves as male or female and want a category broadly called ‘third gender’,” Pant told AFP.
“We have won half of our battle. It has paved the way for our struggle in other areas.”
Sally Goldner of TransGender Victoria told GayNewsNetwork the introduction of "third gender" could be beneficial.
“Commenting only from a trans perspective, it could be of benefit for some trans/genderqueer people," Goldner said.
"It would need education and much legal change to achieve here as government and societal thinking is still largely binary.
"Finally it also raises differences between issues of bodily sex and self-identified gender which are different issues."
The introduction of “third gender” follows on five years from a 2007 decision by Nepal's Supreme Court, which ordered the government to enact laws to protect the rights of LGBTI citizens including the recognition of a “third gender”.
Citizenship certificates serve as national ID cards in Nepal and are required to open bank accounts, sell and buy property, apply for a job and to get a passport.