GATE’s Call To Action on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
February 6, 2021 – GATE joins the international community today to once again demand an end to all forms of female genital mutilation. As with every year, we also demand an end to all forms of intersex genital mutilation.
Intersex people are routinely subjected to mutilating medical practices. These include clitoridectomies, labioplasties, and other genitoplasties performed for “normalizing” purposes on infants and children, who cannot give their consent. Intersex people are also subjected to other medically unnecessary and personally unconsented procedures such as vaginoplasties and dilations, gonadectomies and hypospadias “repairs”, as well as invasive examinations and systematic violations of their privacy, their right to decide on their own image, and the confidentiality of their personal information.
Similar to female genital mutilation, intersex genital mutilation is intrinsically related to the prevalence of body, sexual and gender stereotypes. Throughout the world, the bodily integrity of thousands upon thousands of children is sacrificed in the name of legal, social and cultural norms that monitor compliance and punish transgressions of such stereotypes.
It is clear that ending intersex genital mutilation requires more than the annual reiteration of the Zero Tolerance policy.
It is necessary that States take the following concrete actions:
- Ban, once and for all, all procedures for which the sole purpose is to “normalize” sexual characteristics, and which are carried out without the informed consent of the person upon whom it is being performed.
- Ensure compliance with the human rights of intersex people, including the right to bodily integrity, and commit to fully investigating the violations of those rights.
- Ensure access, for all victims of these violations, to justice, rehabilitation, reparations and truth.
- Include bodily diversity, including variations of sex characteristics, in all levels of education.
- Support the work of intersex activists, organizations and networks.
Furthermore, we call everyone to commit, today and every day, to dismantling bodily, sexual and gender stereotypes that perform, promote and justify female genital mutilation and intersex genital mutilation.