The Netherlands removes gender from their identity documents

The Netherlands joins the list of countries that do not include the gender of citizens in their identity documents, as announced by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, Ingrid Van Engelshoven, through an informative letter to the Dutch parliament. Although in the Netherlands there is a neutral gender in the documents, the current intention is to eliminate this option.

Van Engelshoven, assured that «Citizens can shape their own identity and specify it with complete freedom and security«, the proposal indicates that the changes will start from now until 2025, in order to reduce the costs that a new document of identity in the entire population could bring.

On the other hand, some municipalities and entities eliminate the gender option in their forms, one of these is «Werken voor Nederland«, the official government job website. While the legal requirements in the country, evaluate the request to eliminate gender also from birth certificates. The measure that will be carried out within a period of 5 years, cannot be attacked in passports, because the European Union does not allow it.

Different activist organizations have congratulated the initiative, recalling even other specific points removed from the records, “Many countries have removed personal characteristics such as race, religion or marital status. The primary purpose of an identity document is to ensure that the person presenting it is who they say they are. Indicators of race or gender do not give additional clarity”, stated from Human Rights Watch, a world organization specifically dedicated to the defense of human rights.

The Netherlands has been identified as a defender and progressive country in the rights of the LGBTQ community, since 2001, when it determined same-sex marriage. Other countries that eliminated the option of sex in their documents were Germany, Italy, and Serbia, the latter two never including it.

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