Sweden : New Laws on Gender Change Adopted by Sweden

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Sweden : New Laws on Gender Change Adopted by Sweden

Legislative Reform in Sweden

On April 17th, the Swedish Parliament approved a significant legislative reform concerning gender changes, after an intense and prolonged debate. The bill, which sparked heated discussions, was passed with 234 votes in favor and 94 against, out of the 349 members of the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag.

Details of the New Regulations

Starting from July 1st, 2025, two new laws will come into effect, replacing the current regulations. These separate laws concern the surgical procedures for sex change and the amendments to the gender designation on civil status documents. Notably, the change of civil status will be permitted from the age of 16, with the required consent of parents, a doctor, and the national health and social affairs agency for minors.

Simplification of Procedures

The process for changing the gender designation on civil status documents will be simplified, as it will no longer require a prior diagnosis of gender dysphoria. However, gender transition surgeries will remain reserved for individuals aged 18 and over, and certain specific procedures, such as the removal of ovaries or testicles, will only be allowed from the age of 23.

Political and Societal Impact

This legislation has revealed divides within the governing coalition and has weakened the position of Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. However, the support of the opposition was crucial for the enactment of this law. Muharrem Demirok, leader of the Center Party, hailed the adoption of this law as a step towards more modern and efficient regulations that will significantly shorten the time required for changing gender on civil status documents, a process that could previously take up to seven years.

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Context of the Reform

Sweden has observed a significant increase in cases of gender dysphoria, particularly among young people assigned female at birth aged 13 to 17, with an increase of 1,500% since 2008. Swedish society, which has long been perceived as progressive in matters of gender change, is now deeply divided over this sensitive issue.

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