Israel: Changing Gender on ID Cards

Project Gila, that works for transgender empowerment in Israel, published an announcement Thursday according to which the State’s officials acknowledged for the first time that changing the gender of a person on Israeli identification cards doesn’t require a sex change operation.

“The acknowledgement is included in the State’s response to a petition to the High Court to order the Interior Ministry to drop the requirement for sex reassignment surgery in order to change the gender identity card section,” says trans activist Nora Greenberg. “The State announces in its response that it is prepared to change the current sex change procedure, so that having a sex change operation will no longer be a condition.”

The petition was prepared and served by Greenberg, together with attorney Ronit Liran and with the cooperation of the Aguda. The State claimed in its response that after consultation with experts from the Ministries of Interior and Health, it‘s determined to recognize that a person’s gender can be changed officially without previous gender reassignment surgery. ”

However, the State ties changing the gender on the identity card with the approval of the Committee for Gender Ministry of Health. “This is a very problematic standpoint, both in terms of principle and in practical terms,” says Greenberg. “All these years we keep on saying ‘no committee will determine if I am a man or a woman.’”

On Sunday, January 25, the transgender community will gather in order to discuss an official response to the State. The discussion will be held with attorney Hisham Shveita, who wrote the petition. The community invites the public to take part in this meeting. Further details can be found on the Gila Project’s Facebook page.

“The struggle is still going on, and is not expected to be easy,” concludes Greenberg, “but the demand we presented in the petition has been strengthened by the State, which is a great achievement for the transgender public.”