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Bahrain court to rule on sex change

Manama, November 17, 2013

By Noor Zahra

A Bahrain court will decide next month whether two women seeking sex changes will be allowed to undergo a life-changing operation, said a report.

Judges are reviewing the case of the Bahrainis, who allegedly suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID), also known as gender dysphoria, said the report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

If the High Administrative Court rules in their favour on December 31, it means they will be eligible to undergo a sex change operation abroad, and legally change their name and gender.

Lawyer Fawzia Janahi says the women, in their 20s, feel like they are "trapped in the wrong body".

She filed a combined case against the Health Ministry, General Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Residence, and Central Informatics Organisation in a bid to fast-track the process.

"Since they (the women) were five years old they always felt trapped in the wrong body and became isolated from the outside world," Janahi told the GDN. "They felt like boys and wanted to wear male clothing and acted boyishly.

"When they became older they could not go to weddings because they hated wearing dresses and wearing make-up, and felt the guilt of looking at female bodies.

"They are not homosexuals, because they felt the guilt and did not enjoy liking the same kind, they did not go out and show off their sexuality, but they felt they were ill and did not mix with society.

"They have been to many psychiatrists and were told they were not 'gay' and needed to undergo the (sex change) surgery."

Janahi, who is the only Arab lawyer specialising in transsexual cases in the region, explained that a specialised doctor has to conduct tests and state in a report that the person requires a sex change operation, which could be performed overseas, before filing a court case.

She earlier went to the High Civil Court on behalf of two other women seeking sex changes.

She said people suffering from the disorder struggle as they are subjected to daily criticism, adding that people in the GCC, who suffer from the disorder, have to fight two battles - in court and in society.

Janahi became the first woman to win two sex-change cases - in 2005 and 2008.

In 2005, a court ruled that her client could be officially declared a man, and the 2008 case involved a Bahraini woman, who underwent a sex change operation in Thailand.

Her client was officially recognised as a man by the High Civil Court after a three-year battle in which it was proved that he had a different kind of chromosome seen only in men. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Court | Women | sex | change | rule |

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