Category: Community

August 23, 2013 – TEA sues state of Kenya and NGO Coordination Board, Kenya

The board of Transgender Education & Advocacy (TEA), comprising of 3 transgender Kenyans, sues the state and the NGO Coordination Board for refusing to register TEA as an NGO. The state and the board oppose the case indicating that they could not register TEA because they could not tell the gender of the board members. The board also indicates that the applicants’ names on their national identity cards did not match the names submitted by the applicants when they applied for registration.

June 14, 2013 – Kenya’s High Court upholds Batha’s petition

Kenya’s High Court upholds Batha’s petition earlier in the same year declaring that the stripping and physical assault of Batha by the Kenya Police violated her human rights (A.N.N v Attorney General).  The court observed that the stripping in the glare of the media was meant to humiliate her and deny her of her dignity. The court further prescribed proper procedure for the arrest of accused persons who are transgender. She is awarded USD 2,000.

March 2013 – Audrey Mbugua files case at High Court, Kenya

Audrey Mbugua, a transgender woman, files a case (JR Case No. 147 of 2013) at Kenya’s High Court to compel the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to change the name in her high school diploma. She also sought the removal of the male sex mark on her certificate.

October 7, 2014 – High Court orders for removal of Gender Marks and change of name in academic certificates, Kenya

Kenya’s High Court issues a ruling compelling the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) to issue Audrey Mbugua with a new certification with her new name and without a gender mark. The court observed that “Human dignity is that intangible element that makes a human being complete. It goes to the heart of human identity. Every human has a value. Human dignity can be violated through humiliation, degradation, or dehumanization. Each individual has inherent dignity which our Constitution protects. Human dignity is the cornerstone of the other human rights enshrined in the Constitution.” Further, the court noted that “the law does not require that a gender mark be imposed on a KCSE certificate. A KCSE certificate can therefore be complete without a gender mark. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that examinations in this country (Kenya) are not administered based on the gender of the candidate. Marks are also not awarded based on gender. Removal of the gender mark will therefore not dilute the quality of the certificate.”

July 2014 – Sex in Transition launched, South Africa

The publication discusses the “Remaking of Gender and Race in South Africa”.  It takes the reader through the apartheid times of South Africa and how the lives of those who lived across or in between the gender binary system were impacted. It also explores how people from different races in South Africa would be treated differently when race and gender and gender expression/ identity intersect with each other. The publication was launched at the District Six museum, which on its own has a rich and layered history. Professor Amanda Lock Swarr had a long-standing history with various LGBTIQ and political activists of South Africa and since 1997 her work and interest have a strong focus on queer, trans and intersex studies in South Africa. Amanda hosted Liesl and Tebogo in 2008 in Seattle during their trip to present at the Gender Odyssey and at the University of Washington. Throughout the early years of Gender DynamiX, Amanda and Liesl were in ongoing contact. In 2009 Amanda, Sally Gross and Liesl co-published an article, “South African Intersex Activism: Caster Semenya’s Impact and Import” in the Feminist Studies Journal. Amanda made this post on Facebook during the week of the launch of Sex in Transition.

14 February 2014 – Death of Sally Gross

Prominent anti-apartheid and intersex activist Sally Gross was found to have passed away on February 14, 2014.  Her last communication had been with prominent New Zealand–based intersex activist Mani Bruce Mitchell, a friend who had posted a GoFundMe appeal for help on Gross’s behalf in January of the same year.  Gross’s work on behalf of Intersex South Africa had severely depleted her own limited resources and, as a result, her health, and the tragedy of her death affected communities all over the world. Many obituaries followed her death; see, for example, this one by Gabrielle Le Roux (https://thefeministwire.com/2014/02/tribute-sally-gross/) and this one published by Organization Intersex International (https://oiiinternational.com/2930/remembering-sally-gross/).  Gross continued to be greatly missed but her strong legacy, including Intersex South Africa, the organization she founded, lives on. 

2013 – TTI founded, Tanzania

 TTI is a non-governmental organization (NGO)  in Tanzania dedicated to the Transgender community (Trans men, Trans women, Transgender sex worker, Transgender who live with HIV/AIDS and gender non confirm) focus their work on advocacy, information dissemination and capacity building.

2005 – Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA) to include intersex, South Africa

The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (sometimes known as the Equality Act) was passed by the South African government in 2000 to prevent discrimination, hate speech, and harassment.  Following the work of activists, in 2005 PEPUDA was amended and became the first legislation in the world to include “intersex” within the legal definition of “sex” as “a congenital sexual differentiation which is atypical, to whatever degree.” This definition of intersex reflects activist work as it is almost identical to the recommendation submitted to the court by Intersex South Africa.  Sally Gross, advocated and worked passionately towards this inclusion. One of the major activist accomplishments of this legislation was to insist that intersex be self-defined, removing it from medical oversight or forced surgery that often accompanies legal definitions of “sex.”