Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has justified the inclusion of intersex persons as taking the responsibility of creating a more inclusive society.
In a pre-census briefing on counting of intersex persons this morning, the Bureau said that Kenya has taken the huge step of identifying intersex individuals and that it was high time they were included in the exercise
On her part, Suba North MP and the chair Parliamentary Caucus on children, Milly Odhiambo said that the legal recognition of intersex persons safeguards them against inhuman and degrading treatment that is prohibited in the constitution. Also in attendance was their ambassador nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura.
Kenya becomes the first African country to include intersex individuals in this national exercise. The population of intersex persons is currently estimated at about 700,000 persons. The new marker was introduced by the Bureau in December last year, after prolonged consultations.
Intersex persons are forced to decide between being male and female in order to enjoy basic rights like acquiring a national identification card. Matters are made worse by the fact that conditions affecting intersex persons are not covered by insurance.
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Commissioner Jedediah Waruhiu emphasized that for the first time, the government will have factual data on intersex persons.
“This will help the Government while planning on health, education and even on the employment sector,” said Waruhiu. She is also the intersex taskforce report implementation Committee Chairperson.
“The inclusion of intersex persons is a culmination of over 12 years of public interest litigation, public awareness, advocacy and dialogue with both the state and non-state institutions and actors,” she said.
The government seeks to know their level of education, where they work, physical disability – if any – among other set of things.