An estimated 1.7% of children in the world are born every year with variations of sex characteristics – the same proportion as the number of people born with red hair. This simply means that these children’s biological and genetic characteristics do not totally fit the typical “male” or “female” norms. Some people with such variations describe themselves as intersex, some do not.
Despite Iceland’s worldwide reputation for gender equality – the country has ranked top of the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index every year since 2009 – gender stereotypes and discrimination persist. As a result, individuals whose sex characteristics are perceived not to meet standards for ‘male’ and ‘female’ may be subjected to discrimination and attempts to ‘normalise’ their bodies through surgical and hormone treatment.
The lack of clear, human-rights based protocols and the lack of multidisciplinary care, combined with inadequate social support for individuals with variations in sex characteristics and their families as they navigate the health care system in Iceland, undermines their ability to access the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
But despite the trauma, the stigma and the resistance they are facing along the way, intersex activists are fighting back not only for themselves, but for the generations to come. “I don’t want people to have to hide or be ashamed” says Kitty, founder and Chair of Intersex Iceland, “I want to see an understanding and acceptance that diversity exists and it’s good.”
Together, we can make this happen!
A bill will soon be introduced in the Icelandic Parliament, which could finally do away with outdated requirements for legal gender recognition and allow for procedures based on self-determination for transgender people. However and despite the government’s own commitments, the proposed law would miss an opportunity to finally protect intersex children from harmful medical treatment.
We need to tell the government and parliament in Iceland it’s time to stand up for intersex people. Take action with us and sign our petition today!
Allt starf Amnesty International er fjármagnað og drifið áfram af einstaklingum eins og þér. Hvert framlag — hver aðgerð vegur þungt.
Fyrir ungt fólk sem vill hafa áhrif minnum við á ungliðahreyfingu Amnesty International en hópar eru starfandi um land allt.
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