In an internationally historic shift, Kenya has become the first country in Africa to collect data on intersex people in its national census.

Read more via The Conversation Africa – quoted below


What could have prompted the policy shift?

Over the years, numerous court petitions have been lodged to address the exclusion of intersex people in various forms. The petitions have cited marginalisation and discrimination such as denial of birth papers, and national IDs.

These cases have been championed by advocacy groups, such as the Intersex Persons Society of Kenya, as well as individuals, who have brought civil lawsuits against the systemic discrimination of sexual and gender minorities.

In 2009, a Kenyan woman made headlines when she went to court after doctors wrote a question mark instead of a gender on her child’s birth papers. Among her demands were birth papers for the child to be able to join school. It became a prime example of the need to clearly and legally recognise intersex people.

In addition, civil society and advocacy groups have engaged in sustained public sensitisation and policy advocacy to remove the discrimination and stigma associated with being intersex in Kenya.