Child bearing is a big deal in the African society and every one feels entitled to be let in on when the child is born, whether it’s a boy or a girl. The craze has been heightened with the new age generation who seek to find out the sex of the child before birth through scans and even have themed baby shower parties where pink is for the baby girl and blue for the boy child. But what happens when the child is both a boy and a girl? Did you know it is possible?
‘Intersex’ is a complex biological condition where children are born with either two sex organs (male and female), or one visible organ while the other is either hidden, malformed or deformed but present.The Child Rights International Network estimates that Kenya has approximately 20,000 intersex people most of them suffering in silence as they are afraid of the stigma.
Research shows that the condition has caused strained relationships, blame games, separation, and violence with most parents choosing to either abandon the child in hospital after birth or hiding them away from the public. Access to basic rights has also been strained as placing them in the right schools and in an environment that understands their condition is a challenge.
Gamafrica Foundation, KNCHR, The National Gender Equality Commission and Hon. Isaac Mwaura presented a petition to government seeking to have the intersex community recognized within the policy framework of the Constitution.
Part of the petition demands legal reform to amend the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, Registration of Persons Act, National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, Kenya National Examination Council Act, Statistics Act, Basic Education Act, and Children Act among other laws to recognize intersex persons.
This condition is real and it’s time the society embraced its ‘lost children’ and had this conversation in a bid to find ways to curb the stigma and most importantly allow them the freedom to choose who they want to be.
AUTHOR: NJOKI GACHANJA