One of the Religious Leaders ministering in the Central Region Lakeshore District of Salima Pastor Mankhanamba has reiterated the need for Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, Companies and Individuals to provide condunsive environment as well as financial assistance to members in the key population particularly ‘Intersex’.
The plea was made recently at an Orientation meeting of religious leaders on advocacy and human rights and sexuality which was organised by Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected with HIV and Aids (MANERELA) in the district.
According to Pastor Mankhanamba of the Destiny Ministries International, Intersex Children and youths are facing double marginalization having to deal with both intersex, stigma and extreme poverty in their daily life and resulting into some dropping out of school.
“We need to organize medical and psychological support, public education as well as advocacy for human rights protection of intersex people. We need to break the silence and empower intersex people”
Mankhanamba told Nyasa Times.
For so long, the issue of intersex which is normally called ‘abnormality’ or ‘abombination’ among many African Countries including Malawi has largely been staying silent and often intersex infants are
“The initial treatment of an intersex birth will often be silence and secrecy but now as faith leaders we are saying no! We brought the idea of collective responsibility and child protection to the faith community. Pastors from various churches and teachers in our schools are an intrinsic part of Malawian culture and social fabric and they cannot be ignored when thinking of meaningful and sustainable campaign
for recognition, safety and dignified livelihood for all,” said Mankhanamba.
While commending the good jobs MANERELA and other Non-Governmental Organizations are doing in fighting for the rights of the minority or key population, Mankhanamba asked for the ommission of Intersex from the blacket of LGBTI (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) and suggested it should be dealt on its own.
“Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definition of male or female, its a natural thing therefore it must be separated with these other behaviour under LGBTI,” said Mankhanamba.
“If you combine all this, some faith leaders fail to voice out in fear of being accused of promoting same sex marriages because some people misinterplate things” he added.
In a related development, one of the members of an association National Rainbow Association (NRA) which is fighting for rights of the minority and is also an LGBTI member Dave Chisale has asked Malawians
to embrace members of the key population.
“We want to be recognised and enjoy good health just like any other human being” said Chisale.