Switzerland to allow people to legally change gender through self-identification from 2022

The country follows Norway, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland to move to gender self-identification

Holly Bancroft
Sunday 26 December 2021 15:57 GMT
<p>Switzerland set to join a handful of countries on Saturday </p>

Switzerland set to join a handful of countries on Saturday

The Swiss will be able to change gender legally by self-declaration at a civil registry office from Saturday.

The country will be among a handful in Europe to grant legal weight to gender self-identification. Ireland, Belgium, Portugal and Norway are the only other nations on the continent to allow someone to legally change gender without hormone therapy, medical diagnosis or further evaluation or bureaucracy.

Anyone aged 16 and above not under legal guardianship will be able to do so. Younger people and those under adult protection will require guardian consent.

Current rules are dependent on region. Some require a certificate from a medical professional confirming transgender identity.

Others require a person to undergo hormone treatment and some ask for proof that the person’s new name has already been in use for several years.

While some other European nations, including Denmark, France and Greece, have removed the requirement of medical procedures – such as sex reassignment surgery – they require further steps or conditions.

In June, the Spanish government approved the draft of a bill that would allow anyone over the age of 14 to change gender legally without a medical diagnosis or hormone therapy.

In the UK, a report from the cross-party Women and Equalities Committee, says transgender people should be allowed to declare their own gender without “unfair and overly medicalised” scrutiny.

They argued that transgender people should no longer be required to have a gender dysphoria diagnosis from doctors to be legally recognised.

Proposals had been developed under Theresa May’s government to allow people to self-identify by signing a statutory declaration and without having to provide evidence of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria but the plan was scrapped.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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