Intersex Persons to be Recognized in New Bill

Mwaura sponsors intersex bill

Intersex persons in Kenya will now have a way into public rights and privileges like the rest of the citizens without fear of harassment or discrimination if a bill sponsored by Honourable Isaac Mwaura assents into law.

“The Bill seeks to …make provision for the registration of persons born with both male and female reproductive organs. This will ensure that the registration of such intersex persons reflects their unique gender,” said nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura who has sponsored the Bill.

According to UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Intersex people are individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals  that they “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies.”

Intersex individuals in Kenya have always sought anonymity due to stigma, making it difficult to establish their exact population. Being born an Intersex is subject to a cultural mixture of shame, taboo, worst still lack of awareness has meant that many people born in that condition have found out about their condition only after they pass puberty.

The amendments to the Registration of Persons Act seek to include persons born with both male and female reproductive organs with the adoption of this Bill providing for their registration. Under the Registration of Persons (Amendment) Bill, an intersex person who medically transforms to either male or female will be required to within six months register the sex change but surrender previous identity card. There has been a push for Kenya to create laws that recognise intersex as the third gender.