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Photo: Intersex statement @ CEDAW70 Mexico private briefing, Geneva 05.07.2018
Background: CEDAW Task Force Mexico members, centre: Task force coordinator and CEDAW Vice-chairperson, Ms. Magalys Arocha Dominguez (Cuba)
Joint intersex NGO Statement on harmful practices on intersex children in Mexico, presented at the private CEDAW Lunch briefing by an Mexican intersex advocate on behalf of reporting intersex NGOs Brújula Intersexual, Vivir y Ser Intersex and StopIGM.org: (Wrongly announced as “Transsexual statement” [!] by the Mexican NGO coalition … when will they ever learn?!)
I’m M, an intersex woman from Guadalajara Mexico, my diagnosis is congenital adrenal hyperplasia in the salt-losing form, and I am a survivor of Intersex genital mutilation.
I was born with ambiguous genitalia, and before the age of two the first “reduction” of the clitoris was performed with the consent of my mother. From 18 months of age to 22 years I was subjected to 6 “corrective” surgeries to as my doctors called it “retouch my clitoris” and “enlarge my vagina”.
I was also submitted to other invasive procedures: constant genital examinations, also in front of student classes, and to vaginal dilations without anaesthesia, to human experimentation and to excessive doses of cortisone that gave me Cushing syndrome as a child and osteroporosis as an adult. All these procedures were paid by the Mexican state through the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) through my father’s insurance until I turned 25.
As a freelance visual artist I’m not able to pay for IMSS coverage myself because this has become much more expensive than at the time of my parents. Only then I eventually realised that for me there are other options than cortisone to stay healthy.
In Mexico there is a very diverse intersex community. Unlike the developed countries a large part of the population don’t have access to specialised medical services, especially rural and indigenous people. Therefore there are many who could escape IGM. I know people from small towns who still have their bodies intact but who suffer from ostracism and discrimination in their communities. Sometimes intersex children are killed after birth.
Some intersex children are unable to attend school due to massive bullying and the failure of schools to prevent it, or because they can’t obtain a birth certificate because of their appearance. Those who actually need intersex specific medication often find it impossible to obtain it.
Of those submitted to Intersex genital mutilation, many are suffering from lifelong consequences, including loss of sexual sensations, pain during sex, and complications requiring more and more surgery.
Something that the whole community suffers is the anxiety and depression that these experiences have left, and due to the lack of awareness of intersex human rights, most of the Mexican intersex community has remained anonymous, that explains why only I am here to testify.
• “Harmful Medical Practice”: UN, COE, ACHPR, IACHR condem IGM
• 32 UN Reprimands for IGM – and counting …
• UN Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC): IGM = Harmful Practice + Violence
• UN Committee against Torture (CAT) 2015: IGM = Inhuman Treatment or Torture
• UN Women’s Rights Committee (CEDAW): IGM = Harmful Practice
• UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): Violation of Integrity
• UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee) condemns IGM Practices
Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview • What is Intersex? • How Common is IGM?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB) >>> Table of Contents
IGM as a Harmful Practice: 2015 UN-CRC Briefing
• IGM: A Survivor’s Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are Variations of Sex Anatomy? • What are IGM Practices?
• IGM and Human Rights • Conclusion: IGM is a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB) >>> Table of Contents
Eliminating IGM practices by holding the perpetrators accountable via well-established applicable human rights frameworks, including Inhuman Treatment and Harmful Practices – Presentation @ UN expert meeting on Intersex Human Rights
>>> Download PDF (831kb)