• TBZ

Public Statement by the African Intersex Movement

Updated: Feb 5, 2018

26 November 2017

Between the 24th and 26th November 2017, the First African Intersex Meeting took place in

Johannesburg, South Africa. This meeting brought together 22 intersex people representing

intersex organisations from 7 African countries.


We recall the principles of the Public Statement by the Third International Intersex Forum

(known as the Malta Declaration) and extend the demands aiming to end discrimination

against intersex people in Africa, to ensure the right of bodily integrity, physical autonomy

and self-determination.

We affirm that intersex people are real, and we exist in all countries of Africa. As intersex

people in Africa, we live in a society that perpetuates violence and killings of intersex people

by cultural, religious, traditional and medical beliefs and practices. Therefore, we must be

supported to be the drivers of social, political and legislative changes that concern us.


● To put an end to infanticide and killings of intersex people led by traditional and

religious beliefs.

● To put an end to mutilating and ‘normalising’ practices such as genital surgeries,

psychological and other medical treatments through legislative and other means

(such as education, policy and treatment protocol change). Intersex people must be

empowered to make their own decisions affecting their own bodily integrity, physical

autonomy and self-determination.

● To include intersex education in antenatal counselling and support.

● To put an end to non-consensual sterilisation of intersex people.

● To depathologise variations in sex characteristics in medical practices, guidelines,

protocols and classifications, such as the World Health Organization’s International

Classification of Diseases.

● To ensure that sex or gender classifications are amendable through a simple

administrative procedure at the request of the individuals concerned. All adults and

capable minors should be able to choose between female (F), male (M), intersex or

multiple options. In the future, sex or gender should not be a category on birth

certificates or identification documents for anybody.

● To raise awareness around intersex issues and the rights of intersex people in

communities and society at large.

● To create and facilitate supportive, safe and celebratory environments for intersex

people, their families and surroundings.

● To ensure that intersex people have the right to full information and access to their

own medical records and history.

● To ensure that all professionals and healthcare providers that have a specific role to

play in intersex people’s well-being are adequately trained to provide quality services.

● To acknowledge the suffering and injustice caused to intersex people

● To build intersex anti-discrimination legislation in addition to other grounds, and to

ensure protection against intersectional discrimination.

● To ensure the provision of all human rights and citizenship rights to intersex people,

including the right to marry and form a family.

● To ensure that intersex people are able to participate in competitive sport, at all

levels, in accordance with their legal sex. Intersex athletes who have been humiliated

or stripped of their titles should receive reparation and reinstatement.

● To recognise that medicalization and stigmatisation of intersex people result in

significant trauma and mental health concerns.

● In view of ensuring the bodily integrity and well-being of intersex people, autonomous

non-pathologising psycho-social and peer support be available to intersex people

throughout their life (as self-required), as well as to parents and/or care providers.

In view of the above the African Intersex Movement calls on:

1. National governments to address the concerns raised by the African Intersex

Movement and draw adequate solutions in direct collaboration with intersex

representatives and organisations.

2. Traditional and religious leaders to stop harmful cultural practices, such as

tradition-led mutilations and killings of intersex people.

3. National, regional and international human rights institutions to take on board, and

provide visibility to intersex issues in their work.

4. Community leaders to engage in intersex education to dispel misconceptions and

stigma around intersex people.

5. Human rights organisations to contribute to build bridges with intersex organisations

and build a basis for mutual support and meaningful engagement. This should be

done in a spirit of collaboration and no-one should instrumentalise intersex issues as

a means for other ends.

6. Funders to engage with intersex organisations and support them in the struggle for

visibility, increase their capacity, the building of knowledge and the affirmation of their

human rights.



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