Kenyan transgender activist wins key case

October 8, 2014 7:41 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – A transgender activist in Kenya won a key High Court ruling Tuesday allowing her to change her name on school certificates, calling the decision a “huge watershed moment.”

Audrey Mbugua Ithibu, 30, who was born Andrew, had challenged the national examinations council to alter her name on her school certificates.

On Tuesday, the High Court ordered the exam body to issue fresh certificates in her new name.

“I went to court in 2010 to compel the national examination council to change my name appearing in my school certificates, as well as to remove the gender marks,” she told AFP.

“I hope the society will accommodate us. We do not want to go to court to emphasise our rights. We are not seeking any special rights,” she added.

New certificates will make no mention of any gender.

Ithibu, who runs the Transgender Education and Advocacy group, which has some 60 members, has faced numerous challenges in Kenya.

“I have never been more hopeful than I am today,” she said.

Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is rife across Africa and homosexuality is outlawed in most countries on the continent, including in Kenya, although arrests there are rare.


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