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Assume that a country removes the sex category from its legal system and thus also from its passports. Just like the hair color or foot size are no legal category. Would this cause problems for its citizens to travel internationally?

I found that the 'International Civil Aviation Organization' standardising machine-readable passports includes the category sex in its formats (see https://www.icao.int/publications/Documents/9303_p3_cons_en.pdf). But would it cause problems if this category is not present on the passports of this country? Or could this circumvented by assigning the sex 'X' to all citizens?

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  • I assume you mean height instead of foot size? – Mark Johnson Sep 26 '20 at 16:11
  • No, I meant the foot size, as some countries include the height in the passport. – Metlam Sep 26 '20 at 23:15
  • @MarkJohnson Germany has height and eye color in the passport – Trish Sep 27 '20 at 9:44
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The recognition of other country’s passports is a courtesy

Each nation is sovereign over its own borders. So who they allow in (and out) is a matter for them. For example, many Arab countries will ban your entry if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport no matter what nationality it is.

So, yes, any country can decide not to record sex in a passport and, yes, there may be consequences in other nations.

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ICAO 9303 Part 4 specifies that sex is a mandatory data element, and that it may have one of three values: F, M, or X. Therefore, if the country wants its passports to comply, the answers to your questions are

But would it cause problems if this category is not present on the passports of this country?

Probably. Other countries could decide to accept passports that comply with ICAO standards in every other respect, but universal acceptance is probably unlikely.

Or could this circumvented by assigning the sex 'X' to all citizens?

X is used to denote "unspecified," so this would comply with the standard. Whether every country in the world would accept it is another matter.

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