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Taiwan mulls a third gender option on national ID cards, passports

Taiwan mulls a third gender option on national ID cards, passports

Taipei (Taiwan News) - Taiwan's government-level Gender Equality Committee said Thursday that to ensure the civil rights of transgender, intersex and other groups with different gender identities, the agency is conducting comprehensive research and study of the existing laws to propose plans to add a third gender option to national ID cards and passports.

Adding a third gender option outside of the traditional male/female or man/woman to ID, passport, ID and other legal presence document has been described as one of the government's policies and the agency will conduct cross-departmental meetings to move in that direction.

People familiar with the matter told a local media that Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) convened a meeting last September demanding relevant ministries look into the possibility of adding a third gender option to passports and other identification documents.

The move is not the first of its kind in the world. In California, the Gender Recognition Act was signed into law in 2017 and that will legally recognize a "nonbinary" option on ID. The Act also makes it easier for people to change their gender on state identification cards and birth certificates.

In fact, some countries around the world have offered a third option "unspecified (X)" outside the traditional male and female options on passports. According to Up Media, the countries offering "X" on gender column on their passports include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Nepal, Denmark, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said that the ministry will make necessary changes on the passport in accordance with the order by the Ministry of Interior.