Inclusion of intersex populations in Kenya's population census 2019


  • An umbrella term used to describe people who are born with biological variations in their sex characteristics that don't fit typical male or female categories

  • There are many possible variations, involving genitalia, ovaries and testicles, chromosome patterns and hormones

  • The UN says that according to experts, between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits.

Based on a court order and lobbying from organizations catering to persons on cases involving intersex persons in kenya, the state assembled experts who deliberated on issues involving intersex persons, did a census and compiled a report. The team is called the Task Force on Policy Legal, Institutional and Administrative Reforms Regarding Intersex Persons in Kenya. It includes various medical experts, educators, sociologists, lawyers and representatives of various sectors of society.

The experts called for a favorable law to be put in place allowing intersex persons to amend their sex marker from male or female to that of intersex .

Experts say there are at least 300 documented intersex persons in Kenya. Many more are unreported.

Those interviewed by the team cited numerous problems, especially stigma.

Most of the time they cannot access hospitals when they are sick because they fear prejudice they would suffer.

Those who seek 'corrective' surgery find the high costs a stumbling block.

They also recommend the creation of an equalization fund for medical care for intersex persons.

The team recommends a fund to cater for all medical-related interventions for intersex persons, due to the high cost of specialized intersex medical care among many other things.


The starting point of today being the inclusion of an intersex category in Kenya’s population census as of 2019 separate from Male and Female markers of categorization.

Ava Mrima