HRC Blog

Court Allows Kenyan Transgender Rights Group to Officially Register

International FlagsPost submitted by Jane Thirikwa, Global Engagement Fellow

Kenyan transgender rights group, Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA), won a landmark victory after a court ordered the Kenyan Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Coordination Board to formally register the advocacy group.

The NGO Board, which is responsible for registering nonprofit organizations in Kenya, previously denied the registration, citing that the names of the three transgender women listed in the application, did not reflect their gender.

Justice George Odunga said the reasons for the board’s refusal to register the group lacked legal basis since the constitution upheld the freedom of assembly regardless of gender orientation. He also criticized the Board’s decision as “unfair, unreasonable, unjustified and in breach of rules of natural justice.” The judge also ordered the Board to compensate the Audrey Mbugua, Maureen Muia and Annet Jennifer for the cost of the three year old litigation.

Audrey Mbugua welcomed the ruling, stating that “this is a watershed moment for the transgender community in Africa and a show of the capabilities of the transgender community to extricate themselves from State sponsored discrimination and marginalization.”

Mbugua has also filed a separate case suing both the Kenya National Examinations Council and the Attorney General for failing to recognize her gender identity. 

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