Identity cards in the Netherlands will no longer state whether the holder is male or female, from 2024 or 2025.
With this decision, the government wants to meet people who, for example, do not feel entirely male or female.
The sex indication will not be removed until about four years from now, as the production of identity cards would be reviewed then anyway, making the costs and consequences of the change “limited,” according to Dutch Minister for Emancipation Ingrid van Engelshoven.
However, the law and the instructions for the police still have to be amended.
Interest groups COC Nederland (lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender and intersexual people), NNID (sex diversity) and TNN (transgender people) have been arguing for this for some time.
They are happy with the plans and call it “great news for people who have problems with that indication of sex on their identity documents day in, day out,” reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
According to the organisations, the removal offers a solution to people who keep getting unnecessary and indiscreet questions at counters, on the train or at the border.
For the time being, international passports will retain a sex indication. The Cabinet wants to wait and see if other countries want to get rid of gender registration, reports NOS.
Germany, for example, has had an identity card without the designation ‘man’ or ‘woman’ for some time now, and an increasing number of countries are offering the same possibility.
Argentina, Australia, Canada, India and Nepal have introduced the gender ‘X’ in their passports or identity cards instead of the usual M (male) or F (female). In the Netherlands, too, at least three people have enforced an X in their passports through the courts.
The situation in Belgium is still a little complicated. In 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that Belgians who feel neither male nor female must be given the opportunity to have the sex on their identity card and birth certificate changed to X.
However, the federal parliament has not yet worked out a regulation for people to actually do so.