Meet our Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners

This year, Astraea awarded $275,000 in grants to 41 grantee partners across 33 countries, including two regional networks in Europe and Asia. 

Today, on Intersex Awareness Day, it is with great excitement that we share our fourth cycle of the Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners.

This year, Astraea awarded $275,000 in grants to 41 grantee partners across 33 countries, including two regional networks in Europe and Asia. 65% of these grants are to existing partners, affirming our commitment to providing long-term support and promoting sustainability. While the intersex movement is growing across all regions, in this cycle, 35% of the grants are to new groups from intersex-led organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

These are some of the fiercest intersex activists and advocates who are addressing human rights violations and stigma faced by intersex people, and collaborating with other intersex organizations, human rights organizations, educational and healthcare institutions, and allies.

This past year, intersex rights activists held regional meetings across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. The regional meetings—several of which were supported by the Intersex Human Rights Fund—were the first intersex spaces that many activists in the Global South had experienced. Activists emphasized the criticality of movement-building and the need for increased visibility for the intersex community as a whole.

2018 is Astraea’s largest-ever pool of Intersex Human Rights Fund grantee partners, signaling a major growth in the global intersex movement and advocacy efforts. However, the lack of funding for intersex rights continues to be a major barrier in realizing those rights and shifts in norms.

Our grantee partners have been instrumental in:

  • Organizing to end the pathologization and medicalization of intersex bodies by providing accurate and positive representations of the intersex community: Collectif Intersexes et Allié-e-s was formed on Intersex Awareness Day in 2016 as a collective that provides peer support but also to act politically and be a representative voice for intersex rights in France. The group takes a firm stand against pathologization of intersex people, working to end mutilations and non-consensual treatments, removing gender in legal documents, and including intersex variations in educational resources across the country.
  • Raising awareness about intersex human rights violations by establishing regional networks to end discrimination and protect the rights of intersex people: Intersex Asia was born out of the Asia regional meeting in 2018, to affirm intersex peoples’ rights to bodily integrity, physical autonomy, and self-determination. The network was created by 14 activists across 10 countries in Asia and reflects the growth of the movement in the region.
  • Serving as catalysts for information dissemination, awareness raising, and advocating for the rights of intersex people: Intersex South Africa (ISSA) was revived in 2017 after a South African meeting of intersex activists highlighted major gaps concerning intersex issues in the country. ISSA’s works to ensure that intersex people have the right to accurate information and access to medical records concerning their bodily autonomy, as well as providing support to and awareness around the intersex community in South Africa.

Please join us in celebrating the work of these powerful grantee partners and read more about their work and the work of this global movement, in the links below*:

AIS Suport Group Australia Inc. // Associação Brasileira de Intersexos // Association of Russian-Speaking Intersex (ARSI) // Bilitis Resource Center// Brújula Intersexual // Campaign for Change // Collectif Intesexes et Allié-es// Comité Visibilité Intersexe // Egalite Intersex Ukraine // Fundación Reflejos de Venezuela // The Houston Intersex Society // Intersex And Faith // Intersex Archive Project // Intersex Asia // Intersex Danmark // Intersex Human Rights Australia // Intersex Ísland // Intersex South Africa // InterAction // IntersexUK // ITANZ // Ivy Foundation // Mulabi // NNID // Oii Chinese // OII Deutschland/IVIM // OII Italia // OII Sverige // Organization Intersex International Europe (OII-Europe) // Rainbow Identity Association // Srishti Madurai LGBTQI+// SIPD Uganda // Trans Bantu Association Zambia // Trans Smart Trust // TZK’AT, Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminismo Comunitario // Verein Intergeschlechtlicher Österreich (VIMÖ/OII Austria) // Vivir y Ser Intersex // XY Spectrum

*We do not publicize some of our courageous grantee partners because of the security threats they face in their local contexts, so groups may be missing from this list.

P.S. By supporting Astraea you are creating ecosystems of resistance that are smart, effective, and unique. We are answering the call of this moment. We will win. And we will do so because of your support.

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Watch a video about our Intersex Fund grantee partners’ recent work:

Magda Rakita

Magda Rakita is a Polish intersex organizer who lives in the UK. She’s been focusing on intersex activism in Poland since 2018, and has since the last proposal registered a new intersex organization in Poland: Fundacja Interakcja with a mother of an intersex child.

Magda Rakita is a Polish intersex organizer who lives in the UK. She’s been focusing on intersex activism in Poland since 2018, and has since the last proposal registered a new intersex organization in Poland: Fundacja Interakcja with a mother of an intersex child. She gave talks in different contexts such as on “intersex101 + how to support intersex people at work” for Google Poland, as well as for the University of Wrocław. The new organization did many translations of YouTube videos into Polish language. Their work is also specialized on families: they developed a chapter on intersex to be included in a brochure for a programme run by KPH for parents of LGBT+ youth, and are currently working on a booklet “How to talk to your child about intersex” for parents and guardians of children with intersex traits, as well as publishing a short story for children (about an intersex dragon) translated from Finnish.

Intersex Community of Zimbabwe (ICoZ)

Intersex Community of Zimbabwe (ICoZ) was formed in October 2018. They are raising awareness on intersex reality with social media and live interviews, as well as sensitisation workshops for healthcare professionals.

Intersex Community of Zimbabwe (ICoZ) was formed in October 2018. They are raising awareness on intersex reality with social media and live interviews, as well as sensitisation workshops for healthcare professionals. They are also working in having intersex people included in the HIV and AIDS debates, with participation in panels on the topic. They engage in advocacy with UN with a contribution about The Rights of Intersex Women and Girls in Zimbabwe, as an NGO submission for the 75th session of the PreSessional Working Group of Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. They are also involved in the UPR process in Harare, and participated in the Child Rights Coalition Conference.During covid19 they created a specific program with donations across their territories, to empower the intersex community (intersex adults and families of intersex children) with skills to make different products such as hand sanitizers, orange juice for vitamine C, soap making, and gardening activities (to promote healthy eating and to help raise funds by selling fresh vegetables). They are also involved in regional meetings and international intersex networks. In 2019, ICoZ was part of a delegate representing the African Intersex Movement (AIM) at the African Commission which traveled to The Gambia to present an information note on The Rights of Intersex Persons in Africa.

Intersex Justice Project (IJP)

The Intersex Justice Project (IJP) was formed in 2017, centering voices and leadership of intersex people of color.

The Intersex Justice Project (IJP) was formed in 2017, centering voices and leadership of intersex people of color. They build partnership with other intersex organizations and organizers (such as InterACT), as well as allies, such as artists, public figures, or organizers. They do awareness raising work through social media, live chats, interviews and podcasts. They opened the Queer March in New York and their core work is centered around  their #EndIntersexSurgery campaign at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, in front of which they have been organizing repeated protests. These actions were successful with Lurie apologizing for the harm done to intersex people and committing to suspend cosmetic and medically unnecessary surgeries for six months as they explore “comprehensive and informed intersex care” with intersex consultants. Following this success they have been holding press conferences and interviews, strengthening their national visibility.

Tzk’at Red de Sanadoras Ancestrales del Feminsmo Comunitario, Territorial desde Iximulew – Guatemala

Tzk’at is an indigenous feminist network set up by a Mayan lesbian bringing together women from different indigenous territories as a collective.

Tzk’at is an indigenous feminist network set up by a Mayan lesbian bringing together women from different indigenous territories as a collective. They bring the experience of ancestral healing processes and communities -they are healers, midwives, spiritual leaders, and more; having both ancestral and Western knowledge of medicine and health practices. The main objective of the Network is to to contribute an ancestral and feminist approach to the emotional, physical and spiritual recovery of indigenous women and “cuerpos plurales”/intersex. Indigenous understanding of intersex embodiment. They are currently building an intersex-led project entitled “Dialogues in Defense of Life, Territory Plural-Intersex Bodies -from Iximulew Guatemala,” which will create space for dialogues on embodiment/corporalities and intersex realities with community partners.

Trans Smart Trust

Trans Smart Trust works to promote the identification, inclusion, integration and assimilation of human rights issues affecting Intersex and transgender persons within different social groups of the larger Zimbabwean community.

Trans Smart Trust is an organization focused on intersex and transgender persons founded in 2012 and registered as a Trust on the 16th of July 2016 after a long struggle in an environment where there is limited appreciation and acknowledgement of the existence of intersex and transgender persons. Trans Smart Trust works to promote the identification, inclusion, integration and assimilation of human rights issues affecting Intersex and transgender persons within different social groups of the larger Zimbabwean community. Through Trans Smart strategic focus, the organization’s participatory methodologies have become the fulcrum for integrated inventiveness in developing intersex and transgender person’s livelihoods. The organization has continuously been working on improving the Health, Human rights, Life Skills, Capacities and participation in governance processes. Trans Smart Trust manages a portfolio of projects targeting intersex and Transgender persons who constitute intersex and transgender people living with HIV, albinism within urban and rural areas. The organization’s activities bridges the knowledge gaps through information dissemination and provides capacity building for rural and urban populaces, facilitates platforms for the community and its leadership to interrogate as well as take action in promoting human rights.

The Houston Intersex Society

The Houston Intersex Society aims to empower and enrich the lives of intersex people while working to end shame and discrimination through education, outreach, and support.

The Houston Intersex Society was formed on June 27, 2012. Both co-founders knew each other as teenagers in an LGBT youth group but because of shame, stigma, and secrecy neither one was open about their intersex status. They reconnected as adults at a local community center and upon learning that they both felt the same isolation while sitting next to each other every Friday night for years as teenagers, they decided to create an organization that very day. They created the organization with the intention to be visible to other intersex people, to advocate for those intersex individuals unable to advocate for themselves, to influence legislation to protect intersex bodies, and to educate medical providers so they can provide adequate care to intersex people.

The Houston Intersex Society aims to empower and enrich the lives of intersex people while working to end shame and discrimination through education, outreach, and support.

OII Sverige

OII Sverige envisages a world where the diversity of the human body is both recognized and celebrated beyond our current system which only validates people with bodies and genders which conform to male or female.

OII Sverige was formed on the 28th of February 2018. Before that the members were part of a loosely formed network called Intersex Scandinavia. OII SVERIGE envisages a world where the diversity of the human body is both recognized and celebrated beyond our current system which only validates people with bodies and genders which conform to male or female. OII SVERIGE as an organization offers support and advocacy for people with intersex variations, that is, bodies that do not conform to the standard definitions of female and male. OII SVERIGE also offers information to families, patient support groups, and concerned health professionals through presentations by group members. OII Sverige is open to intersex people who want to advocate for intersex human rights, but of course OII SVERIGE will work for all people with intersex variations in Sweden, regardless of if they want to participate in the organizations work or not. The goal for OII SVERIGE is to create a stronger and more collaborative intersex movement in Sweden, increase visibility and the need for everyone to engage with intersex issues.

Ivy Foundation

Ivy Foundation was formed to create awareness for intersex persons and non intersex persons to create a better environment for intersex persons which caters to their needs and is more understanding of their different conditions and advocate for the rights of an intersex person both young and old.

Ivy Foundation was formed in 2016. They recently organized a workshop for journalists with 30 reporters from all three major regions in Malawi: Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe, as well as a workshop for the LGTBIQ community. The latest lead to the constitution of a monthly peersupport meeting for intersex people. They are building a sustainable organization by investing in staff and an office.

Intersex South Africa (ISSA)

Intersex South Africa (ISSA) is dedicated to raising awareness of intersex issues in South Africa while advocating and supporting all intersexed South Africans.

Intersex South Africa was created by the late intersex organizer Sally Gross, and became dormant after Sally’s death in 2014, but was revived in 2017. They continue strengthening their organization with the adoption of a strategic plan. They are involved in the regional and international intersex movement and participate in events like the African intersex meeting or the Global Feminist LBQ conference. They have a strong presence on social media and have been front and center in media coverage on Caster Semenya’s case. They also build awareness with screenings, debates, panels and discussions. On advocacy work, they are giving training to stakeholders such as the South African Human Rights Commission and calling them to conduct a national inquiry and a law reform, to review school curricula, and to ending intersex mutilation.

During covid19, the organization conducted a national survey to understand how the members of the intersex community were affected and published a report out of it.