ProBonoMatters has launched an online protest/petition campaign condemning the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF’s) new rules that seek to regulate female testosterone levels.
The petition can be accessed online on the following address:
To sign the petition, users need to type out their names in the given space and then click a Sign Now button.
The petition is also styled as an expression of solidarity for the affected group of athletes like the South African Caster Semenya and the Indian Dutee Chand.
ProBonoMatters, a Johannesburg based operation that exist to serve public good, says “the new IAAF’s rules are deplorable for a number of reasons, not least the bad science that they come with and the total disregard of human rights. They must be stopped”
The petition is designed to highlight the matter and galvanise solidarity across the globe as Semenya and other parties prepare to take on the IAAF through the Court of Arbitration for Sport. A ProBonoMatters spokesperson said “these IAAF rules should not be allowed to stand as they are almost equivalent to the racial discrimination that condemn and excluded people from public life for their natural attributes.
“We are thus calling for all progressive organisations to get behind this campaign.”
The South African LGBT+ Management Forum has already endorsed the campaign by signing the petition. More progressive organisations are expected to lend their support in due course.
The petition begins with a note that “we the people of the world -organised as activists for human rights and gender equality; progressive scientists, sport fans, athletes and ordinary folks who are lovers of freedom- rise up to express our disgust at these new IAAF rules.”
The petition further notes these new IAAF rules add to a historical trend of discrimination against female athletes. These include the female athletes of 1946 who were required by the IAAF to submit medical certificates to verify their sex. There were the women of the 1966 European Athletics Championship who were made to undergo “nude parades” to prove their sex. And there were the female athletes at the 1966 Commonwealth Games who had to undergo gynecological exams.