Nepal introduces 3rd gender category on ID cards

Updated 23 January 2013
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Nepal introduces 3rd gender category on ID cards

KATMANDU: Transgender citizens in Nepal will no longer have to describe themselves as male or female on their national identity cards under a new government regulation, an official said on Wednesday.
Bhola Siwakoti, a senior official in the home ministry, said that its offices across the country had been instructed to allow people to register as “a third gender” when completing their citizenship certificates.
“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,” Siwakoti told AFP.
The move comes more than five years after Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered the government to enact laws to guarantee the rights of transgender people.
The government-issued citizenship certificates, which serve as national ID cards, are required to open bank accounts, sell and buy property, apply for a job and to get a passport.
Sunil Babu Pant, director of Blue Diamond Society, a transgender rights group, welcomed the government decision.
“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,” Pant said.


Eritrea responds to Ethiopia PM’s olive branch

Updated 20 June 2018
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Eritrea responds to Ethiopia PM’s olive branch

  • Eritrea and Ethiopia remain bitter foes after a 1998-2000 conflict that drew comparisons to the First World War
  • Even after the end of the war, the border remains heavily militarised and disputed

ADDIS ABABA: Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is dispatching a delegation to Addis Ababa for “constructive engagement” with arch-foe Ethiopia after peace overtures this month from its new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, a senior Eritrean diplomat said on Wednesday.
Isais made the annoucement — a potentially significant breakthrough in one of Africa’s most protracted conflicts — earlier on Wednesday, Eritrea’s ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Afeworki, said on Twitter. He gave no further details.
Eritrean information minister Yemane Ghebremeskel did not respond to requests for comment.
Eritrea and Ethiopia remain bitter foes after a 1998-2000 conflict that drew comparisons to the First World War, with waves of conscripts forced to march through minefields toward Eritrean trenches, where they were cut down by machine gun fire.
Casuality figures are disputed in both countries although most estimates suggest 50,000 Ethiopian soldiers died, against 20,000 on the Eritrean side.
Even after the end of the war, the border remains heavily militarised and disputed, most notably the town of Badme which was part of Eritrea, according to a 2002 international arbitration ruling.
Since then, Addis has ignored the ruling and refused to pull out troops or officials, to the fury of Asmara.
However, Abiy, a 41-year-old former soldier who has embarked on a radical economic and political reform drive since taking over in March, stunned Ethiopians this month when he said Addis would honor all the terms of the settlement between the two countries, suggesting he was prepared to cede Badme.
In parliament this week, Abiy also acknoewledged the tensions continued to inflict a heavy economic cost on both countries and said Addis should no longer hide this price tag from the Ethiopian people, another stunning departure with the past.
There has so far been no official response to Abiy’s overtures from Eritrea, one of the Africa’s most closed states.