The Himalayan Times: Project for LGBTI rights

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MINISTRY of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) and Blue Diamond Society (BDS), an NGO for third gender rights, are jointly working to amend legal provisions to ensure equal rights for the third gender.

Sher Jung Karki, under secretary at the ministry said that third genders suffer violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion and stigma.

After the Supreme Court (SC) gave legal recognition to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI), we decided to amend the legal provision in the constitution, added Karki. The ministry and BDS will be undertaking a Rs 30-lakh project.

In December 2007, SC had declared that all discriminatory laws against LGBTI people must be repealed and provision made for recognition of the ‘third gender’ in government documents. Nepal is the only country in South Asia that provides such rights.

“We are reviewing legal documents and trying to ensure equal rights for LGBTI as per the cabinet decision,” said Karki, adding that the Interim Constitution has also guaranteed equal rights for the third gender. “All citizens shall be equal before the law and there shall not be discrimination among citizens on grounds of religion, race, caste, tribe, gender, origin, language or ideological conviction.”

“If we can legally ensure their rights, it will be easier for them to get other social, economic and cultural rights,” said Karki. According to BDS, more than 120,000 LGBTIs are in touch with BDS. The community estimates the LGBTI population to be 900,000 in the country.

Editorial comment:

THE idea of making all of LGBTI a third sex or a third gender is problematic in OII’s opinion.

The Blue Diamond Society (BDS) in Nepal has been working for an official third gender for a while now, despite how the terrible lives of third gender Hijra in India and Pakistan should have informed this strategy.

The Himalayan Times: Project for LGBTI rights