Manisha Dhakal/Pahichan, October 22- The year 2007 was an important milestone in the LGBT movement in Nepal. This was the year that the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to issue citizenship cards to people of the third gender. This was a historic decision-one that set in motion several progressive moves towards making gender equality a reality.
After the order, the Nepal government decided to set up a committee to examine same-sex marriage laws in other countries so that similar legislation could be introduced. That report is expected soon. The government has also allocated a national budget for sexual minorities. A five-year Human Rights Action Plan was launched-one that promises to protect and promote LGBT rights. Moreover, the Ministry of Education has included SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) issues in schools and colleges.
Apart from this, the National Human Rights Commission in Nepal has a desk focused on the LGBT community, and the Women, Children and Social Welfare Ministry has been declared the focal ministry for LGBT issues. Last year, the government decided to host the International SOGI conference.
All this has made the LGBT community feel more confident about coming forward. Companies in the private sector, like banks, telecom, etc., have changed their approach as well. Many of them now have an additional box in the gender category called ‘others” for sexual minorities. The passport department office is also planning to introduce such a box and we are eagerly awaiting this.
These developments are all thanks to Supreme Court taking a stand. Our LGBT friends from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and even Europe, South Africa and the U.S. frequently visit Nepal to learn from us. The only reason we have come this far in breaking the silence is because we had the support of relevant stakeholders.
News Via : http://www.satyamevjayate.in/accepting-alternative-sexualities/episode-3article.aspx?uid=s3e3-ar-a7