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Trans man in Botswana wins High Court battle to be recognized as male

Trans man in Botswana wins High Court battle to be recognized as male

LEGABIBO botswana

After a 10-year legal battle a trans man in Botswana will now be legally recognized as a male.

The Botswana High Court ruled that it was violated the man’s constitutional rights to not be recognized as male.

The man who could not be identified for legal reasons said the court ruling was ‘an immense relief’.

‘I am hopeful that other persons who find themselves in a similar situation will be dealt with in a more respectful manner when they apply for new identity cards,’ he wrote in a statement.
In his judgment High Court Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa said the government had violated the plaintiff’s rights. The rights violated were to; dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, equality and freedom from discrimination and inhumane and degrading treatment.

The man’s lawyer, Tshiamo Rantao, said the ruling was great news for the trans community. He said it could help another case currently being her by the court.

Trans woman and advocate, Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, will have her case to change her official documents to female heard in December.’

This is great victory for the transgender community because many more have been fighting the gender marker battle for years,’ Rantao told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

‘Surely the judge who will be presiding over Kgositau’s case will have to refer to this judgment,’

Botswana’s LGBTI history

Botswana is a small southern African country with a population of about 2 million people.

While consensual homosexual sex is illegal in Botswana, it is not illegal to be attracted to someone of the same sex.

In 2014 LGBT advocacy group Legabibo won a historic case . The High Court ruled it was unconstitutional to block the group from being allowed to register.

That year Botswana also backed a call by the African Union’s highest human rights body to protect the human rights of LGBTI people.

The country also has an employment law protecting people from workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation.