7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

New hope for sex-change op woman

A BAHRAINI woman who had sex-change surgery is a step away from being officially recognised as a man. Zainab Abdulhafed Rabie, aged 34, was yesterday referred by the High Civil Court to a government legal medical officer, who report back on whether she is now male.

The court went ahead with the referral despite the fact that Health Ministy and General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence failed to turn up for the third time.

Zainab's lawyer Fouzia Janahi had earlier requested the court to give its order yesterday, with or without the officials.

"These government representatives have been given notices by hand to attend the court hearings, but they failed to turn up for the third time," said Ms Janahi.

"But the court went ahead and gave its order to the legal medical officer to give his judgement and send his report to the court as soon as possible.

"The court has not given the date of the next court hearing.

"As soon as the court gets the medical report from the legal medical officer, it will hold a hearing and give its final verdict."

Zainab Abdulhafed Rabie has been battling for the right to be recognised as a male and has her name changed to Hussain.

Ms Janahi said her client wanted a new identity as Hussain to be officially recognised and documented on the passport, CPR card, driving licence, birth certificate and other legal paperwork.

Ms Janahi presented a medical report to Bahrain's High Civil Court in December 2007.

Zainab underwent an eight-hour sex-change operation at Yanhee Hospital, Bangkok, last December.

The Bahrain government gave BD5,000 to cover her operation, accommodation, plane ticket and food.

A medical report, prepared by Yanhee Hospital surgeon Sukit Worathamrang, says that Zainab has no female sex organs.

Zainab was born with a condition known as inter-sexuality, a term used to describe someone born with sexual anomaly.

She found out about it only when she got married at the age of 25.

Ms Rabie knew from the age of eight that she was different from other girls but her family never noticed anything unusual.

It was not until she reached 31 that she decided to seek legal advice.

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