Statement on 10 News Reporting on Intersex Women in Sport

At the heart of violence against the intersex community are people who feel they get to police and fix other people’s bodies. Caster Semenya, born a woman, raised a woman, who has demonstrated nothing but hard-earned excellence in her field is harmed by irresponsible reporting.

Sporting codes that are intended to accommodate transgender women in sport are often designed to the exclusion of intersex women, intending to coerce medical intervention on not just healthy individuals but professional athletes that often come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The continued conflation of these issues is designed to punish women who have simply been born with natural variation. To respect personal autonomy and physical integrity is core to our human rights movement that recognises intersex women as no less than any other woman.

It is heinous enough that this debate has done nothing but attack and belittle the transgender community. Instead of creating the opportunity to promote and resource women’s sports, it has created the opportunity to also attack any woman who doesn’t fit social norms.

IHRA condemns all reporting intended to diminish women’s sports. These uneducated attacks on the intersex community must stop. If we are to address inequality in women’s sport, it doesn’t start with exclusion, but with addressing unequal conditions.

Our response to the Claire Chandler bill is relevant to this issue and can be read here.

As well as our primer on intersex people in sports.