Center for Healthcare Development and Youth Empowerment (Intersex Nigeria) is a body by and for people with intersex variations. We promote the human rights, self-determination and bodily autonomy of intersex people in Nigeria. We build community, evidence, capacity, and education and information resources. Our goals are to help create a society where our bodies are not stigmatized and discriminated against, and where our rights as a people are recognized and respected.
Intersex people form a diverse population with many different kinds of bodies, sex characteristics, sex assignments, genders, identities, life experiences, and terminology and word preferences. What we share in common is an experience of having innate sex characteristics (such as chromosomes, gonads or hormones) that differs from medical norms for female or male bodies. We risk violence, stigmatization and harmful practices because our bodies are seen as different.
Intersex is a matter of bodily diversity. Underlying intersex traits can become evident prenatally, at birth, during puberty or at other times. Intersex is not about sexual orientation; people with intersex variations have diverse range of sexual orientations as non-intersex (“endosex”) people. Intersex is not about an experience of transition or gender identity; we have diverse range of gender identities as non-intersex people. Intersex is primarily about the body, although intersex people may have an identity that is contingent on our embodiment and natural sex characteristics.
The term intersex was first used by science in the early 20th century; historically, the term “hermaphrodite” was used. The term is not applicable to situations where individuals deliberately alter their own anatomical characteristics. Although figures vary, intersex people represent a significant percentage of the population.
Intersex people, especially those of us who are diagnosed at birth, in infancy or during puberty, are often the subject of surgical or hormonal interventions to “fix” our sex characteristics and make our bodies appear more typically female or male.
Where these interventions take place without personal, fully informed consent they are “harmful practices”; they are still considered “disorder” in Nigeria, and they often take place for “psychosocial” rationales, based on clinician “belief” and “opinion”.
● Support and empower intersex individuals and their families including through the use of online forums, social activities and face to face meetings
● Provide information, education and advice on issues relating to intersex including through the internet, Information Communication and Education materials.
● Lead and contribute to process of policy-making that will protect and provide comprehensive healthcare services for intersex people.
● Increase support, awareness and recognistion of intersex rights with commitment from different stakeholders in providing human rights,services and legal protect for intersex poeple.
● Engage and partner with other organizations that shares common goals with our Organizations Missions and Visions.
● Raise, apply and channel resources to support the initiatives, programs and priorities of the Organization.