Government: fewer official documents will note an individual’s sex

The government has decided to reduce the number of official documents and identity cards that require the registration of the holder’s sex. Research has shown that the use of such data is more prevalent than it needs to be. At the proposal of Minister of Justice Ard van der Steur and Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker, the cabinet has agreed to send a letter to this effect to parliament.

This change in policy would have the following effects:

  • As of 1 January 2017 new public transport smart cards not longer include the bearer’s sex. This applies to both student transport cards and business transport card (Mobilitymixx).
  • The Minister of Education, Culture and Science has spoken with a number of major umbrella organisations in the education sector about this issue. More and more institutions will be dropping the gender designation from their student IDs and in their communications with their students.
  • An increasing number of municipalities will henceforth communicate with their inhabitants in a gender-neutral way, for example by printing only an individual’s first and middle initials and surname on their voting pass and by eliminating any reference to sex on as many forms as possible.

The government believes that the Netherlands is sympathetic to the problems that certain groups have with the practice of sex registration, and in that light it will continue to encourage activities that raise general awareness about this issue.