Nepal gets third gender option

2011-01-09 22:32

Kathmandu - Nepal is preparing to hold its first national census that includes an option for people to register themselves as a "third gender," officials confirmed on Sunday.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said this is the first time census forms would grant the option for transgendered people to list themselves as something other than male or female.

"In the past, we only had two sections under gender, as male and female," said Bikash Bista, director of the department.

"With the new provision, the third gender will also be able to acquire citizenship."

The Himalayan nation, with its population of 28 million, conducts a national census every 10 years. The CBS says it aims to complete the census in the next two months, with plans to release findings in May.

Transgendered people in Nepal have long demanded an easy path to citizenship for sexual minorities.

"We have been demanding citizenship rights for transgenders, for the sake of identity of individuals in the society," said Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal's first openly gay lawmaker and gay rights activist.

"One should have social recognition on the basis of sexual orientation."

Nepal's Supreme Court granted citizenship rights to sexual minorities in 2007, making it only the second country after India in South Asia with such a provision.

But those who have sought the citizenship certificate say bureaucratic hassle has limited access to the papers.

  • Mango - 2011-01-10 13:54

    So Caster Semenya can also apply for citizenship.

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