Nepal introduces gender neutral citizenship documents

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An official says Nepal’s government will begin issuing gender neutral citizenship documents for people who do not wish to be identified as male or female.

Nepal’s Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the government should issue “third gender” citizenship certificates but it took five years to implement the decision.

On Tuesday, Home Minister Bhola Siwakot said that an order to issue the certificates was sent to all district administration offices, the Associated Press reports.

Activists hailed the decision, saying it was an achievement for LGBT rights in the country.

Sunil Baba Pant, a gay politician and LGBT campaigner said the new simple and clear guidelines should make life easier for the sexual minorities.

Gender neutral documentation is increasingly been rolled out by governments across the world.

Earlier this month, campaigners in the UK renewed calls for the Home Office to introduce gender neutral passports.

Changes were made to Australian passport rules in 2011, which allowed the option of ‘X’ in passports there.

New Zealand also offers the gender neutral option on passports in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation specification document 9303.