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Aanik Rana makes history in Nepal as the first trans woman to run for political office

Meka Beresford June 19, 2017
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Aanik Rana receives the "token of love" from DSP Mukunda Marasini

Aanik Rana is the first transgender woman to run for political office in Nepal (Photo by @aanik_rana/Twitter)

Aanik Rana has made history as she becomes the first transgender woman in Nepal to run for political office.

Rana, who is a social worker and LGBT activist, is running for the position of the chairperson in ward number eight of the Tilotama Municipality in Western Nepal.

She has explained that even if she is not elected, the nomination in itself is a victory for trans people and increasing visibility.

She said to Pahichan: “In the elections victory or defeat is a normal process but I think my candidacy itself is a victory for me.

“Not only indigenous, Janajati and Dalit, homosexual and transgender have given their candidacy it would contribute to bring [sic] changes towards gender and sexual minority [sic].”

She is running for the Naya Shakti Nepal Party in the upcoming July elections.

The party was created by former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and pushes for political leaders to be elected by the public rather than a vote in parliament.

Rana identifies as “third gender”, an identity that Nepal finally recognised in 2015.

LGBT activists like Rana recently celebrated as Nepal passed a new constitution which included protections against discrimination of LGBT people.

The Human Rights Campaign deemed the protections as a “historic first for a nation in Asia”.

Earlier this year Japan elected its first trans man into office.

25-year-old Tomoya Hosoda was elected as the councillor for the city of Iruma.

The country elected its first trans politician in 2003, Kamikawa Aya. However, New Zealand was the first country to have an openly transgender member of Parliament, Georgina Beyer, who was elected in 1999.

Danica Roem is a trans woman running for the state office in Virginia.

She is going head to head with an incredibly anti-LGBT Republican, who co-authored the now defunct constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, for a spot in the House of Delegates.

Related topics: Asia, Nepal

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