News Brief

The IAAF Denies Wanting to Classify Intersex Athlete Caster Semenya as Male

The body says it rejects reports of it wanting the South African intersex athlete to be classified as 'biologically male'.

There have been widely circulated reports that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) wants South African 800m Olympic gold-medalist, Caster Semenya, to be classified as 'biologically male'. The IAAF, however, has emphatically rejected these reports.


It has been an arduous sporting journey for intersex athlete Caster Semenya. Over the years she has received continued backlash from all over the world for winning long-distance races at various large sporting events including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The cause for the backlash is primarily because people feel that her increased testosterone levels (higher than the average female) give her an unfair advantage over her female counterparts.

Admittedly, the IAAF has failed to do its due diligence in terms of actively participating and curating the conversation around athletes who are intersex. In a world where the biological sciences are showing that unlike the long-held dogma that sex is binary, but instead exists on a spectrum, the athletics body has failed to protect intersex athletes.

The IAAF has further failed to be proactive and progressive in reviewing its regulations with regards to intersex athletes which has ultimately led to this very ugly showdown.

The athletics body claims it only now has proof that increased testosterone, the levels which Semenya exhibits, imbue an unfair advantage performance-wise. Semenya is set to appear at the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week, to argue against having to lower her testosterone levels.

Featured
Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."