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Canada To Add Third Gender Option To Next Government Census

Canada is the latest country to allow respondents to choose a third gender option when responding to government surveys…
Canada will add a third gender option besides ‘male’ and ‘female’ to its upcoming census in order to capture a more accurate picture of the country.
The 2021 official government census will ask what respondents identify as in the hopes of making the survey more inclusive. This will allow people who identify outside the gender binary – such as agender or gender fluid individuals – to give an appropriate answer.
As The Guardian reports, participants will be able to choose from three gender options, directly addressing feedback from Canada’s 2016 census that the gender options were limiting.
“We want to make sure all Canadians can identify themselves within the census,” says Laurent Martel, director of demography at Statistics Canada.
Statisticians worked with community groups across the country to understand “the concepts of sex, sex at birth, gender and gender identity,” Marc Lechance, director of the agency’s social and aboriginal statistics division told the Globe and Mail.
The agency first tested the non-binary gender option in a recent opioid awareness survey, according to the newspaper. In that study, respondents were asked what their sex was at birth and then followed up with a question about what their gender is at the time of taking the survey: “male,” “female,” or “please specify”.
“Terminology changes over time … it’s a work in progress,” Mr Lechance said.
Canada isn’t the first country to allow respondents to choose to identify with genders beyond male and female. Nepal, India, and Pakistan all recognize other genders on official government documents.

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