Today is Intersex Awareness Day and there is a need for more understanding about the lived realities of intersex people.
Human rights advocate Joshua Sehoole explains that intersex people are a healthy manifestation of human bodily diversity.
By definition, intersex is an umbrella term that covers a variety of different sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male and female.
Intersex sex traits can be visible at birth, apparent at puberty or be almost imperceptible, advises Sehoole.
He explains that there is a lot of hostility and ignorance about intersex people.
This often leads to child murders and the practice of intersex gentile mutilation for those with ambiguous genitalia (which is only one variation of intersex).
There are unnecessary, non-consensual surgeries on infants and children which occur across the region.— Joshua Sehoole, Regional Human Rights Manager at Iranti-org
According to Sehoole, intersex people are as common as twins.
1 in 400 South Africans are intersex , but very view are born into tolerant families or medical environments.
There are cases of midwives twisting a new-born's neck and telling mothers that the infant died during child birth.
Listen to the insightful discussion here:
This article first appeared on 702 : The struggles of intersex people in SA