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Botswana Recognizes Transgender Woman as Female in Landmark Case

Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, a transgender woman living in Botswana, won a legal battle against the Botswana government and will now be recognized as female, Reuters reports.

The victory is not only one for Kgositau, who is the executive director of Gender Dynamix, an organization that advocates for trans and gender-variant people, but also one for Botswana, a conservative African nation that has been slow to acknowledge LGBTQ rights.

Kgositau sued because Botswana’s government refused to change the gender on her official documents from male to female. Justice Leatile Dambe ruled on Tuesday that the National Registration must change her documentation within seven days.

Kgositau argued in court that the gender marker on her documents was causing her distress as she had identified as a woman since birth.

Only two months ago, a transgender man living in Botswana wona legal victor and was recognized as male, as well, Africa News reports.

In 2014, a gay rights group in Botswana won the right to lobby the government to change legislation. However, the judge reminded the group that gay sex acts are still illegal in Botswana.

Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew is a staff writer at INTO. His work has appeared in Mic, Slate and Complex. He loves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Flannery O'Connor and female rappers and is working on a memoir.


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