Press Release – For Immediate Release Kampala,Human Rights defenders call for action to protect Intersex Children and people in Uganda

Two human rights groups in Uganda have this morning launched a documentary: She is My Son- The Pain of being an Intersex person  in Uganda, with a call on government to protect intersex people  by availing families with information on intersexuality. The two organizations, Support Initiative for People with atypical Sex Development (SIPD Uganda) and Uganda Health and Science Press Association noted with concern that many intersex people are denied their full potential in life for simply being who they are.

Mr. Julius Kaggwa, the SIPD Uganda Executive Director said while launching the documentary that intersex people face discrimination,isolation and stigma based on their genital make up and other conditions that not necessarily lead to ambiguous genitalia. “ The current approach  in treatment is that health workers and families are using the concealment oriented approach. They undertake surgery without the express consent of the intersex individual,” Mr
Kaggwa said.

He also noted with concern that the tests which are undertaken  before surgery are in many cases  especially for young children are disputable. “ For example an estrogen test may be taken on a child and a decision is reached for surgery, yet at  puberty for example, a similar test would determine which genital is predominant,” he said. There are also legal challenges in  Uganda, where there is no third gender, yet some intersex would want to be counted among  “ the other.” “ In some case female hormones are not enough to make a particular person a woman, neither are the male hormones. How then do you legally characterize such a person without traumatisong them. This
calls for information availability to the public, but also for the legal and policy makers in this country,” Mr Kaggwa added.

“ This is a  volunteer documentary, a first to highlight the plight ofintersex people to the wider global community,” Mr Kikonyogo Kivumbi, the Uhspa Uganda Executive Director said at the launch in Kampala.

He called on government to promote the intersex people’s rights to health and education as Ugandans. “  I also appeal to the Uganda Paediatric Association, a consortium of paeditric experts to come out and senstise people on intersex. Many people wrongly think that all intersex are homosexuals. Certainly the children doctors can clarify
this to end stigma.” Kikonyogo added.

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