Nepal to count third gender in next population census

Nepal population census 2021

KATHMANDU, Feb 9: Nepal is planning to count the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) in the next population census which will begin from 2021 June, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

This will be the first time Nepal is incorporating the sexual minority group, who have long demanded they be counted in the census so that they could get access to the national programs such as special quotas, education and health and other welfare schemes. Although there is no exact data on the population of the LGBT community, it is estimated that around 900,000 people out of 29 million are the third gender.

Earlier, the CBS had prepared a questionnaire excluding the LGBT community based on the fact that one 1500 were identified as the third gender in the last census, the number of people willing to open about their gender and identify themselves as third gender or their families to do so was too small to be included in the final count. The population census in Nepal is done every 10 years.

However, after holding consultation with the LGBT community, the CBS agreed to count them this summer census.

CBS Director Dhundi Raj Lamichhane said that the citizens will be able to identify themselves as “male”, “female” or “other gender” in the questionnaire.

According to Lamichhane, the exercise will allow in planning for social security and other rights set for minority groups, guaranteed to the LBGT community in the constitution.

Although the LGBT community will be able to follow up to choose which sexual orientation they will identify themselves with in the census, Lamichhane said the CBS will define them as a “sexual minority” group.

According to CBS, a trial census will be held in two districts each from all seven provinces in March.