KNEC finds itself in a landmark transgender case

May 28, 2013 3:47 pm
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Mbugua wants the Kenya National Examinations Council to issue her with a KCSE certificate that reads Audrey and not Andrew/XINHUA
Mbugua wants the Kenya National Examinations Council to issue her with a KCSE certificate that reads Audrey and not Andrew/XINHUA
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Audrey Mbugua was born Andrew Mbugua and she now wants her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) to reflect her transformation from male to female.

Mbugua has gone to court seeking to get the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) to issue her with a KCSE certificate that reads Audrey and not Andrew.

Mbugua explained to the court that her current KCSE certificate has violated her rights by keeping her from getting a job given the discrepancy in her appearance and the details on the certificate.

The examination body’s counsel has however asked the court to grant it time to file a response to Mbugua’s application given its unprecedented nature, “The matter is tricky and due to the issues raised by the applicant, we need to consult first with the AG and the Registrar of Persons before filing our response,” the advocate argued on Monday.

Justice Weldon Korir went on to give KNEC three weeks to file its response allowing the examination body time to consult with the Attorney General (AG) Githu Muigai’s office and the Registrar of Persons.

The applicant explained that when she sat her KCSE exam eleven years ago she was yet to be diagnosed with the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) also known as gender dysphoria and therefore sat her KCSE examination as a boy.

Mbugua went on to explain that she began her transformation in university and that gender dysphoria is, “used by psychologists and physicians to describe persons who experience significant discontent with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex.”

Mbugua has also written to the Registrar of Persons seeking to have them issue her with fresh identification documents that will reflect her current status as a female.

The examination body and Mbugua will be back to the Milimani Law court on August 6 for further direction.

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