Transgender and intersex rights are human rights

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12/10/21

As South Africa marked International Human Rights Day on 10 December, activists called on the government to escalate efforts to promote legal gender recognition and end intersex genital mutilation. “As long as transgender and intersex persons are unable to exercise their human rights, South Africans cannot claim to be a Constitutional democracy,” said Iranti Executive Director Jabu Pereira. Pereira urged the Department of Home Affairs (DOH) to speed up the public engagement process to finalise South Africa’s new identity document regime that would offer an alternative to the current binary descriptions of gender. The organisation anticipates that the Draft Identity Management Policy will be approved by cabinet in March 2022. Iranti, as part of the Gender Diversity Coalition, is working with the DOH to review the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in an effort to support civil society input into the process. It noted an incident in which an intersex Limpopo person was verbally abused by Home Affairs in Polokwane when they tried to change their gender markers. “Our wish for 2022 is that trans and intersex persons are granted the ability to self-identify; that they are able to change their gender markers speedily and, in so doing, are able to access the services and rights to which all South Africans are entitled,” Pereira said.

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