Kenya takes step towards recognising intersex people in landmark ruling

Published: December 6, 2014

STANDARD Digital
Original Article:  bit.ly/1z0vTt8

A Kenyan court has ordered the government to issue a birth certificate to a five-year-old child born with ambiguous genitalia, in a landmark ruling that the child’s lawyer said was a first step towards recognising intersex people.

Hospital staff put a question mark next to the box designating gender on a form to record the 2009 birth of the baby whose sex organs were not clearly female or male.

This meant the child never received a birth certificate, necessary to enjoy basic legal rights, such as attending school, getting a national identity document and voting.

"Now they are going to be able to get a birth certificate," the child’s lawyer, John Chigiti, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday. "That’s a win.

" Intersex people often face stigma in Kenya as the condition is not understood. Local media referred to it as a "curse" for one nine-year-old child who was raised as a boy and dropped out of school because other students followed him to the toilet to see how he urinated.

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