TDOR and Social Dialogue Press Release

For immediate release:
20 November 2014

Social Dialogue on Transgender Learners in the South African Education System and Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) Event.

On the 20th of November 2014, Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) and Iranti-org will be hosting a Social Dialogue on the challenges and lived realities of trans* and gender non-conforming learners in the South African education system. The dialogue will serve to raise awareness about issues of gender identity and its intersectionality with education, access to economic empowerment and transphobia.

The purpose of the national social dialogue is to promote engagement between representatives from government, civil society organisations, parents and trans* learners on the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and how to embrace diversity within schools. The dialogue seeks to promote visibility and transparency of the issues at hand and develop programmes and policies that are more inclusive to all learners

In 2014, more cases of human and civil rights violations against transgender learners were reported to TIA and Iranti-org, it is clear that transgender learners continue to face discrimination within the educational system and that these learners are not afforded the same amount of protection against bullying, harassment and discrimination in comparison to cisgender learners. The transgender community in South Africa remains one of the most economically disempowered populations in the country. Economic disempowerment can be linked to the significant school dropout rates among transgender persons; bullying, harassment and lack of understanding from teachers being the top reasons for dropping out.

The Social Dialogue will be held at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. After the dialogue, the two organisations will host a Transgender Day of Remembrance commemoration event from 13:00 pm till 17:00 pm at the same venue. “A dialogue between the Department of Education and ourselves is long overdue. Our government has an opportunity to eradicate poverty and to improve our lives by ensuring that transgender and gender non conforming learners are not pushed out of the system. Gender affirming schools will mirror the constitutional mandate to protect all children.”-Jabu Pereira, Director of Iranti-org 

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR)

The 20th of November 2014 is the 16th international Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that is commemorated annually in more than 20 countries. The day is aimed at creating greater visibility and raising public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people. TDOR fosters a space for mourning and remembering lives lost as a result of hate, transphobia and various other acts of violence.

Transgender Europe’s Trans Monitoring Project report for 2014 revealed that 226 transgender people were murdered worldwide in the past 12 months. The findings of the report are disturbing as it reveals that most of the killings took place in countries that have the most progressive civil rights. There continues to be lack of data from many African countries, 9 killings of transgender people have been reported in 4 African countries, submission of data is closely linked to countries with strong trans* movements and professional monitoring.

South Africa voted in favour of the SOGI resolution that was adopted by the UN in September 2014 and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development launched an LGBTI programme that aims to address hate crimes against the LGBTI community that have shocked the country in recent years. It is therefore imperative that civil society, government and the private sector invest in more effective and efficient ways of monitoring violence against transgender people and in findings ways to prevent the continued discrimination, harassment and attacks on transgender bodies.

We cannot honestly say that violence against transgender people is decreasing in South Africa, what we know is that cases are not being reported and that transgender people are often labelled as gay or lesbian which makes it even more difficult to collect trans* specific data that is connected to violence. Civil Society and government need to find ways to ensure that cases are reported and that justice is upheld in those instances. TIA and Iranti-org will be in solidarity with countless other trans* organisations and groups around the world to commemorate TDOR and raise awareness about violence on transgender bodies, we will also speak out against institutional violence that trans* people continue to face in South Africa”– says Nthabiseng Mokoena, Programs and Staff Management Director, TIA

END

CONTACT:

Tshepang Magadenisa (TIA)     tshepimag.tia@gmail.com         +27783038049

Legoete KK (Iranti-org)             legoetek@gmail.com                 +27783763571

 

About TIA

TIA was founded in 2010 and focuses on transgender and intersex issues in previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa. TIA seeks to break the silence and stop the ignorance surrounding the existence of the black transgender and intersex people in African communities and bring knowledge of applicable terminologies and a better understanding of transgender and intersex

About IRANTI-ORG

Iranti-Org is an African visual media organisation established in 2012. It works within a human rights framework to raise issues of sexual orientation and gender identities. To date, Iranti-org has documented hate crimes and human rights violations in the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Gauteng provinces. Iranti-org has also set up the African Queer Media Makers Network, which seeks to build the media making capacity of LGBTI activists in southern Africa. www.iranti-org.co.za

press release TDOR TIA and Iranti

Social dialogue and TDOR Agenda

TIA logo for wordpress

Social Dialogue on Trans* Learners in the South African Educational System

INTERNATIONAL TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE (TDoR):

20 November 2014

Where:     Women’s Jail, Constitutional Hill Precinct, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

 on:            Thursday 20 November 2014

 from:         Social Dialogue 09h00 – 13h00 (registration 08h00-08h50)

TDOR Commemoration : 14h00-17h00

Transgender and gender non-conforming learners in South Africa are experiencing discrimination and find themselves being ridiculed, taunted and shamed, often by those in positions of power. In response to and addressing the issues of the trans* learners in schools, TIA and Iranti-org are hosting a national social dialogue on the issues affecting these pupils.

The purpose of the national social dialogue is to promote engagement between representatives from government, civil society organisations, parents and trans* learners on the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and how to embrace diversity in schools. The dialogue seeks to promote visibility and transparency of the issues at hand and develop programmes and policies that are more inclusive to all learners.

 PROGRAMME

Facilitator: Jabulani Pereira, Director at Iranti-org

09:00           Welcome by Snowy Mamba, Outreach Officer at Transgender                            Intersex Africa (TIA)

09:15           Keynote address – Yasmin Sooka, Foundation for Human Rights

09:30           Q&A

10:00           Panel of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Learners

  • Case of Nare Mphela, Limpopo
  • ‘Tshepo’- Gauteng
  • Tembisa Gender non Conforming learners
  • Tshego Phala, attorney Webber, Wentzel Bowens.

10:30           Department of Education

12:45           Dialogue, Q&A

13:00           Wrap up and vote of thanks

Lunch

14h30 – 17h00 Transgender Voice in Action
–      Open mic session
–      Cultural performances
–      Poetry
–      Commemoration and Remembrance of Transpersons – A Shrine of Remembrance.

About TIA

TIA was founded in 2010 and focuses on transgender and intersex issues in previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa. TIA seeks to break the silence and stop the ignorance surrounding the existence of the black transgender and intersex people in African communities and bring knowledge of applicable terminologies and a better understanding of transgender and intersexuality. www.transgenderintersexafrica.org.za

About IRANTI-ORG

Iranti-Org is an African visual media organisation established in 2012. It works within a human rights framework to raise issues of sexual orientation and gender identities. To date, Iranti-org has documented hate crimes and human rights violations in the Northern Cape, Limpopo and Gauteng provinces. Iranti-org has also set up the African Queer Media Makers Network, which seeks to build the media making capacity of LGBTI activists in southern Africa. www.iranti-org.co.za

Schools should gender affirming NOT gender fearing.

END transphobia in schools.

CONTACT:
Tshepang Magadenisa (TIA)        tshepimag.tia@gmail.com     0783038049
Legoete KK (Iranti-org)              legoetek@gmail.com                  0783763571

 

 iranti    con hill logo

 

Press Release for Intersex Awareness

For Immediate Release 

07 November 2014

The 26th of October 2014 was International Intersex Awareness Day, a day that is commemorated annually; as a result, the months of October and November are used to create greater visibility and awareness around intersex issues, challenges and experiences. On the 8th of November 2014, Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) will host a public event at Constitutional Hill, the current home of the South African Constitutional Court. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness on intersex issues in South Africa and sensitise the public on the realities and lived experiences of intersex people.

The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, states that no person should be unfairly discriminated on the grounds of sex, which includes intersex. The Act also goes on to say that no person may unfairly discriminate against any other person on the ground of gender, one of the forms of discrimination being Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It is clear that South Africa has taken a step in the right direction by including intersex within anti-discrimination policy and by speaking out against Female Genital Mutilation. Even though legislation is in place to protect intersex people, the protection remains only on paper, intersex people continue to face multi-faceted forms of discrimination and hate. The PEPUDA act should be followed by regulations and guidelines on how intersex people are going to be protected by the state; it is no use to have progressive legislation but no progressive and realistic implementation of the law.

The State has taken a great step by speaking out against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) but it is discouraging that the state has not yet spoken out against Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM). Intersex people, especially children continue to be the subjects of unnecessary, irreversible and non-consensual surgical procedures form the medical sector.  IGM is often ignored by policy makers because it often takes place within hospitals, with doctors and parents consenting to it. Regardless of the fact that this form genital mutilation takes place within academic Western medical settings, it does not excuse the fact that it is a human rights violation; it does not allow intersex persons to have ownership over their bodies, to make decisions that are respectful of their body, autonomy and maintain bodily integrity. TIA is not against necessary medical intervention on intersex children in instances when the immediate health of the child is at risk, what is still needed in South Africa are clear and comprehensive guidelines and policies on intersex people’s health and rights so that they can make decisions that affect their health and lives without force or coercion.

We recognise the fact that some doctors are starting to advocate for non-surgical procedures when dealing with intersex children and they realise that early and unnecessary surgical intervention can have fatal consequences on the physical and psychological health of the child. We urge the health and medical sector to invest in providing accurate, human-rights based and respectful information to the parents of intersex children, as parents often opt for surgery because of the lack of knowledge, support and positive information that does not pathologize intersex and does not promote it as a negative condition that needs to be fixed. We need to ensure that the personal, free and fully informed consent of the intersex individuals are a compulsory requirement in all medical practices and protocols.

Transgender and intersex Africa urges other civil society organisations to take on board intersex rights, in their human rights work. We also urge regional human rights institutions to address the human rights of intersex people, and most importantly we urge government to affirm the rights of intersex people.

We realize that there has been a significant growth of intersex work on the African continent, we therefore urge more intersex people to be visible and to be more involved within the intersex movement.

It is encouraging to see that intersex human rights are becoming part of the global human rights conversation. We need to keep the momentum going by involving more intersex people within this conversation; we need to become more visible, change is not going to happen if society does not know that we exist. The South African government should also take up the responsibility to ensure that all its citizens are protected, including intersex citizens, by ensuring that we put an end to mutilating and normalizing practices such as genital surgeries and unnecessary hormonal treatment on intersex children, the state should ensure that intersex people’s civil, political and human rights are affirmed” says Nthabiseng Mokoena from Transgender and Intersex Africa.

 “It is time that our medical professionals acknowledge that intersex traits are not abnormalities that need to be fixed. The intersex community forms part of human diversity. Intersex people continue to be a marginalized group and the most vulnerable because society is not prepared to move from social constructions and norms that are not inclusive of gender and sex diversity. Not everyone will fit the stereotypical gender binary. It is time that we all start celebrating diversity in all its forms “says Tebogo Nkoana from Transgender and Intersex Africa.

 For more information contact:

Tshepang Magendisa

Admin and Communications Officer

Transgender and Intersex Africa

+27127972612

Tshepimag.tia@gmail.com

 

 

 

TIA invites you to the Intersex Awareness event

Intersex invite 1

 

Intersex is still considered a taboo in most of our communities, intersex people’s lives and realities are often misunderstood and treated as a subject not to be talked about. In the age of democracy and respect for the lives of medical patients, intersex people still face mutilation of their bodies, often without their consent or under coercion.

Parents of intersex children are often not given enough information to allow them to make sound decisions that are truly in the best interest of their child, medicine continues to “own” intersex bodies and identities. Join Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) on the 8th of November as we break the silence and taboo surrounding intersex people’s lives. On the day we will also be commemorating the life and work of intersex activist Sally Gross, founder of Intersex Society of South Africa (ISSA) who passed away in February 2014.

Venue: Constitutional Hill

Time: 11: 00 am till 2:00 pm

We will be screening the world acclaimed Intersex feature film “Intersexions”

Refreshments will be served on the day.

RSVP at tshepimag.tia@gmail.com