Skip to main content
October 19, 2018

Intersex persons forced to undergo surgery — KNCHR

Advocate John Chigiti, the lead consultant of the  taskforce on policy, legal, institution and administrative reforms regarding intersex persons in Kenya during a validation forum in Mombasa, October 9, 2018/ ERNEST CORNEL.
Advocate John Chigiti, the lead consultant of the taskforce on policy, legal, institution and administrative reforms regarding intersex persons in Kenya during a validation forum in Mombasa, October 9, 2018/ ERNEST CORNEL.

Some intersex people have undergone genital surgery without their consent, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has said.

 In some cases the procedures were botched resulting in death, KNCHR said.

 The revelation was made on Tueday in Mombabsa during a stakeholders’ forum.

 The Attorney General in May last year appointed a task force on policy, legal, institutional and administrative reforms regarding intersex persons.

 The team is tasked with compiling comprehensive data on the number, distribution and problems faced by the minority group.

 The study is ongoing but preliminary results were discussed at the Mombasa meeting.

 Intersex refers to a condition in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t to fit the typical definition of female or male.

 The task force has already conducted a pilot and three phases of the study.

 A fourth phase is planned.

 Traditionally, intersex persons were linked to misfortunes and killed at birth. 

But the trend is changing, the Intersex Persons Society of Kenya said.

 The IPSK says it has 205 members and 180 are unmarried women The task force lead consultant John Chigiti said his team has so far managed to interview only 98 intersex persons, owing to the secrecy surrounding the subject.

 Kiambu county had 13 intersex persons interviewed, the highest number in the study. Vihiga, Nairobi and Kisumu had nine, seven and five people. Mombasa had one.

 “It should be noted that these figures do not reflect the total number of intersex persons per county. It just shows those we managed to reach. It is a conversation that is difficult to have,” Chigiti said.

Poll of the day