Image Credit: Aude Nasr / @ahlan.my.darlings
Every year on Intersex Awareness Day (October 26th), Astraea Foundation takes time to celebrate our grantee partners from around the world. At Astraea, we know that intersex people have no borders and exist in multitudes, but these vast experiences often go unrecognized or underrecognized.
2022 marks the 8th annual cycle of Astraea’s grantmaking with the Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF). This year, we are celebrating the diverse beauty within intersex movements and the progress they have made in securing justice, while also reflecting on serious challenges intersex people experienced in many regions.
Through the IHRF, Astraea responds to significant gaps in philanthropic funding for intersex movements by resourcing activism, building the capacity, raising visibility, and driving resources to intersex groups.
The IHRF’s eighth round of grantmaking totaled $522,000 in grants in 2022. Since IHRF seeks proposals from intersex activists who have never applied for a grant or received foundation funding before, it allows us to expand our reach to more and more corners of the world where the potential for intersex activism has yet to be tapped and connected to a global movement. IHRF now supports intersex movements in a quarter of the world’s countries, as the funding went to 56 groups, including 11 new and 45 renewals in 47 countries. During this funding cycle, we expanded our reach to Tunisia, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia, for the first time.
We have seen great strides and challenges from our grantee partners, leading campaigns to challenge social norms, change policy, and actualize inclusion, for example:
- Intersex Persons Society of Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya) began in 2016 to provide support, create awareness and gather data to establish the identifiable presence of intersex persons in Kenya. They succeeded in having the “intersex” category included in the national census in August 2019. And this year, Kenya became the first African country to require intersex children to be treated with dignity and have equal access to essential services like medical treatment and education.
- IntersexualesChile (Chile) was founded in 2016 with the main goal to support intersex people, as well as supporting families in making decisions regarding health, life, and well-being. IntersexualesChile believes that corrective and aesthetic surgeries only end up hurting a person physically, psychologically and socially. In addition to directly helping families, the organization works to ensure that Chile complies with legal stipulations that genital surgery cannot be performed on intersex babies.
- Intersex Greece (Cyclades, Greece) is an inclusive, national organization for intersex people living in Greece, no matter their nationality, economic status or any other diversity. They aim to create awareness and inclusion for intersex people and advocate for legal protections. We at IHRF are celebrating a major win in 2022 as the country banned cosmetic (non-medically necessary) genital surgeries on intersex children.
- Damino (Tunisia) began in September 2021 amid challenges and discrimination against intersex individuals. It is difficult to be an intersex person in Tunisia and to connect with other intersex individuals, so the group became a safe space for intersex activists. They are considered to be a pioneer in their field, as they are the first group that focuses primarily on intersex rights in Tunisia. They are working to stop the violations and crimes against intersex babies through enacting new laws.
Please join us in celebrating all our incredible 2022 Intersex Human Rights Fund (IHRF) grantee partners building towards more inclusive and just futures for intersex people, and for us all!
This Intersex Awareness Day, we are excited to have collaborated with Aude Nasr, a French-Lebanese freelance illustrator and photographer currently based in Marseille, France. To learn more about Aude and her work, please visit her website and Instagram.
2022 Intersex Human Rights Fund Grantee Partners*
*Note: We do not publicize a number of our courageous grantee partners because of security threats they face in their local contexts, so organizations may be missing from this list.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Regional / Taiwan
Regional / Germany