DCU is hosting Ireland’s first international conference on intersex issues

The event opened by EU Commissioner for Equality, Dr Helena Dalli, takes place online from April 21-22.

A group of people holding an intersex flag outside a building

Dublin City University is hosting ‘Intersex 2021 – A Vision for the Future’, Ireland’s first international, interdisciplinary conference on intersex issues. The two-day event will be opened Thursday, April 21 by EU Commissioner for Equality, Dr Helena Dalli, and will also feature speakers from organisations such as Intersex Ireland, Intersex Human Rights Australia, and OII Europe.

Speaking on the event, DCU’s Dr Tanya Ní Mhuirthile said: “This conference continues on an important path that takes intersex/VSC out of the historical confines in the medical space where babies, children, adults, and their bodies have been problematised in the quest to ‘normalise’ difference… This conference aims to provide an inclusive and diverse platform through which to listen and discuss intersex/VSC for the new decade.”

The United Nations estimates that 0.5 to 1.7% of the global population are intersex. In most cases, people with sex development differences do not have any life-threatening issues but may require medical intervention such as hormone treatments.

EU Commissioner for Equality, Dr Helena Dalli, who was invited to open the event, highlighted that “Intersex people remain widely invisible and continue to experience gross human rights breaches such as genital mutilation and involuntary medical interventions, in violation of their right to bodily integrity.”

Her goal is to work towards an “intersex equal Europe” and says that “The European Commission aims to build a Union of equality for all, and addresses the equality concerns of intersex people through the measures that are embedded in the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025.”

Other speakers at the conference include Co-Executive Director of Intersex Human Rights Australia and creator of the Intersex flag – Morgan Carpenter, Co-Chair of OII Europe – Kitty Anderson, and Chair of Intersex Ireland – Sara R Phillips. The event has been organised by the Intersex Mapping Study at DCU who “are delighted to offer this important platform to commence dialogue on this important social and human rights issue.”

Find out more about the conference through DCU’s ‘Intersex 2021- A Vision for the Future’ webpage.

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