For many people, gender is much more complex than just being male or female. Some people identify as both, some as neither. This can cause simple things, like filling out questionnaires that ask for your gender, to be difficult. New Zealand is taking a step towards change by introducing a new category on their Statistics New Zealand form: gender diverse.
This category will eventually extend past Statistics NZ’s use. The entire government plans to implement it and is working to incorporate the term. Joanne Allan, the department’s classifications manager, said that gender identity is “about how a person feels and experiences their gender, which can change over their lifetime. We’ve worked with a wide range of government and community groups to finalize this standard and the terminology.”
Hopefully, other countries will take a cue from the Kiwis and recognize that not all of their citizens can identify with the only two options given on forms.
Image via Shout Out! JMU
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