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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

Dana Zzymm, an intersex and nonbinary US citizen, has been on a years-long quest to obtain a passport that reflects their identity by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M.” They sued to compel the US State…
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Societal Discrimination Compounds Health Risks

A high-ranking official in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, reassured the transgender community there that the government would support them during a province-wide lockdown due to COVID-19. Karachi commissioner Iftikhar…
Transgender people wearing face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 take selfies at a park in Peshawar, Pakistan, March 20, 2020.
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Netherlands Court Cites India, Nepal Cases

A Netherlands district court cited supreme court judgments from India and Nepal when it ruled the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer. The Supreme…
Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender woman in Nepal, holds her citizenship certificate, which listed her as male in 2011. Nepal legally recognized a third gender category beginning in 2007, but it took Shrestha and other activists and transgender citizens unti
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Investigate Slew of Attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The latest killing of a transgender woman in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) province exemplifies the government’s failure to take measures to protect the rights of its transgender citizens. On May 4, assailants fatally…
a member of the transgender community, applies make up as she prepares for Shakeela's party in Peshawar, Pakistan January 22, 2017.
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Members of Nepal’s LGBT community were once openly derided as “social pollutants,” but now enjoy social and political rights—including legal recognition of a third gender—that put the country leagues ahead of much of the rest of the world. The past decade…
Marchers in the 2013 Gai Jatra LGBTI pride parade fill the streets of Kathmandu.
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Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
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Free 5 Pakistanis Still Held After February ‘Morality’ Raid

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should investigate the death of a Pakistani transgender woman at a Riyadh police station following a raid on an event space in late February 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should also immediately release…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
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Third Gender Column on Job Application Form Makes a Difference

More than 600 transgender people applied for civil service jobs in Nepal last year, according to a government report released last week. LGBT rights activists hail the announcement as practical progress toward implementing Nepal’s identity-based legal…
A reveller gets ready to take part in a LGBT pride parade to mark Gaijatra Festival, also known as the festival of cows, in Kathmandu, Nepal August 30, 2015.
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Women, Religious Groups, Refugees Endure Violence, Intimidation

(New York) – Pakistan’s government did little to protect vulnerable groups and religious minorities from attack by militant groups in 2016, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. The authorities clamped down on civil society groups for…
Supporters of the Gender Interactive Alliance dance and chant slogans as they pose with a national flag ahead of the Independence Day in Karachi, August 13, 2016.
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Local Parliament Calls for Federal Guarantee for Transgender Voting

The provincial assembly in a northwestern province of Pakistan this week unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to ensure voting rights for transgender women. It is an important message of support for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
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Summary I have no hope of getting justice in this crooked system. —Umar Daraz, Karachi, January 2016 How do you expect us to recover stolen items from hardened criminals? Do you think they will agree if we say, ‘Be nice to us and return…
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Surge in Violence Should Prompt Authorities to Act

In a rare move of support for transgender people, this week Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights issued a forceful call for an investigation after an unidentified assailant violently attacked a transgender woman in Peshawar, the capital of…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
News

Promptly Investigate, Prosecute Those Responsible

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should urgently investigate the surge in violent attacks on transgender women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Human Rights Watch said today. They should also investigate allegations that medical staff and police failed…
Transgender activists protest against the rape of two transgender women in Faisalabad.
News
The arrival of a transgender activist from Nepal in Taiwan last Saturday for the 2015 International Lesbian and Gay Association’s Asia conference may seem unremarkable. But it was in fact quite special: The activist, Bhumika Shrestha, is the first Nepali…
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When Nepal's president signed the country’s new constitution on September 20, some minority groups raised black flags in protest; #NotMyConstitution trended on social media. The national charter was imbued with aspirations of inclusion that have long been…
Marchers in the 2013 Gai Jatra LGBTI pride parade fill the streets of Kathmandu.
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Monica Shahi made history today as Nepal’s first citizen to carry a passport that allows its bearer to select a gender other than male or female. This acknowledgement of her gender identity follows years of activism that pushed the legal system to…
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
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Urgent Action Needed to Uphold Rights, Support HIV Prevention Work

(New York) – The government of Nepal should allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups to operate freely and end arbitrary arrests of LGBT people, Human Rights Watch said. The government should investigate threats and attacks against LGBT…