Rights groups praise Nepal’s is­sue of trans­gen­der pass­port

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Nepal is­sued its first trans­gen­der pass­port Mon­day in a move which rights groups hailed as a break­through.

Rights ac­tivist Mon­ica Shahi be­came the first re­cip­i­ent of a pass­port that read ‘O’ for other in­stead of ‘male’ or ‘fe­male.’

“I can­not de­scribe my hap­pi­ness to­day. My coun­try has recog­nised and re­spected my iden­tity,” the 37-year-old ac­tivist told AFP.

“My strug­gle was not just for my­self, but for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Now ev­ery­one like me can get this ser­vice.”

Nepal in­tro­duced a third gen- der cat­e­gory in Jan­uary 2013 for trans­gen­der peo­ple ap­ply­ing for cit­i­zen­ship doc­u­ments.

Five months later the Supreme Court or­dered the gov­ern­ment to al­ter gen­der op­tions in pass­ports as well.

Cam­paign­ers for the rights of les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der and in­ter­sex (LGBTI) peo­ple wel­comed the step.

“This recog­ni­tion in the pass­port is the re­sult of a long strug­gle and to­day we are proud that our coun­try has taken this step,” said Pinky Gu­rung, pres­i­dent of Blue Diamond So­ci­ety, an LGBTI rights group.

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