Nepal has joined the few countries which allow third gender passports, as it issues its first one.

The country issued the passport, which allows ‘other’ as a gender category alongside ‘male’ and ‘female’.

Monica Shahi was the first person to receive such a passport.

The only other countries which allow third-gender, or gender ‘x’ passports are Australia and New Zealand.

The move by Nepal has been hailed as a huge step forward by LGBT activists.

The country, which announced in January that it would introduce third gender passports, has been hailed as one of the most progressive on LGBT rights.

Nepal in 2011 added third gender categories to its census and citizenship cards.

Of this latest move, leading LGBT rights activist Pinky Gurung said: “It is a very progressive move, and we welcome it.”