Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu

In a world-first, Nepal has included a “third gender” category in its national census that was conducted last month.

Census takers asked citizens of the South Asia country if they were male, female or a “third gender” during their visits to around 5.6 million homes.

The move has been seen as a victory for LGBT activists who fought to ensure that that category was included in the poll.

“We had to put in a lot of pressure to have the third gender counted in the census,” gender minority rights activist Sunil Babu Pant told CNN.

“It was only after we said that we would go to court that the officials agreed to include the third gender as a category.”

In a landmark 2007 ruling, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to create laws to protect LGBT rights and to change existing discriminatory laws.

This included allowing people to choose their gender in identity documents.

The government is in the final stages of completing a report on same-sex marriage, which is believed to recommend its legalisation.

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