For Immediate Release
Kampala, May 15,2012 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.
The documentary has also been posted on you tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMfRrc64rl4&feature=share.
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 ambigious 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 traumatizing 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 of intersex 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 Pediatric Association, a consortium of pediatric 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
Julius Kaggwa : +256784251819, email@example.com
Tom Makumbi: +256773231066, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kikonyogo Kivumbi: +256752628406, email@example.com ( for Kiswahili)
Notes to the Editor
There is a lot of misinformation on intersex people. Some health workers disassociate themselves from helping and treating them in the wake of the infamous Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009, because they are part of the LGBTI.
This documentary is an attempt to drum up policy and activists support to promoting the welfare of intersex people in Uganda.