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Morocco recognises third gender, approves use of Amazigh language on birth records

Women carrying a Moroccan (L) and an Amazigh flag (R) and flashing the three-finger Amazigh symbol during a sit-in on March 2, 2012 [ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]
Women carrying a Moroccan (L) and an Amazigh flag (R) and flashing the three-finger Amazigh symbol during a sit-in on March 2, 2012 [ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

A new civil status law approved by the Moroccan Parliament on Tuesday recognises the terms androgynous and hermaphrodite on birth certificates as a third gender, while allowing the possibility of gender change. The law also gives the green light to writing names on certificates in the Berber language.

Article 28 of Draft Law No. 36.21, related to civil status, "authorises registering the birth of a hermaphrodite, with a requisite medical certificate specifying the sex of the newborn. In case there is a change in the sex of the hermaphrodite in the future, it is changed in the certificate by virtue of a ruling issued by a competent court."

Media reports said that the new law was adopted to solve the problem of dealing with intersex status, especially intersexual people who are registered with a specific gender and then change to another gender, while their names remain unchanged.

Article 19 of the draft law also stipulates that "civil status certificates are written in Arabic, with the first and family name of the concerned person and their parents' names written in Tifinagh [an Amazigh language] and Latin letters."

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