LGBTIs (Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex) have something to cheer about now. The state-owned Tribhuvan University has included LGBTI issues in its Master’s level curriculum for the first time under the gender and feminist studies. Students of Master’s second year studying the sociology and anthropology faculty are being asked questions related to sexual and gender minorities in their final exams since the past one year.
Questions on LGBTIs cover 45 out of 100 marks. TU faculty members and Blue Diamond Society (BDS), an LGBT rights organisation of Nepal, worked together to add LGBTI issues in the curriculum in order to teach students inclusive and broader understanding of gender and sexuality.
The course revolves around the historical and contemporary challenges faced by LGBTIs as well as their rights, diversity, identity, community and representation in the society. “By including the issues of LGBTIs in the university course, students can understand their problems and struggle,” said Sunil Babu Pant, lawmaker and director of BDS. “After five years of our struggle, we have finally achieved something. This positive transformation can raise awareness among university students, teachers and general public.”
Om Gurung, chief of TU’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, said,” Students were not seen much interested in studying gender and feminist studies before the course was updated. But after the LGBTI topic was added, things have changes.”
It is to be noted that Padmana Kanya Campus has been running the similar course for the past two years.
(Source: The Kathmandu Post: 2011 September 8)