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Open Letter to CEDAW Committee

November 2, 2023 Dear CEDAW committee member: We draw your attention to the press release and position paper led by the special rapporteur on culture et. al., titled: ‘Policy position by United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders in relation to the protection of human rights in sport without discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.’[1] The statement is a violation of CEDAW[2] sex-based rights, which says that ‘for the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex’ (Part 1 Article 1). CEDAW article 10g says: ‘States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women: (g) The same Opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education;’ Everyone knows that no amount of surgery and/or testosterone suppression will turn a man into a woman or make it fair for a male to take the place of a female athlete in a category created to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls. It is a physical impossibility. Sex is binary and immutable. Women are members of the female sex. Males cannot be female. There should be no threshold of treatment or personal belief that allows a male to change his category of competition and displace a female participant. It is an assault on basic human rights and women around the world to suggest that women should set aside their rights and safety for male athletes. It is an assault on women to suggest that women are the equivalent of an underdeveloped or pharmaceutically altered male. We state, unequivocally, with science and common sense on our side, that women and girls deserve equal opportunity and fair sports competition at every age and at every level of development, from beginner to elite. CEDAW has also said this. We call upon the members of the CEDAW committee to repudiate this statement. Yours in equality, Founding Members, ICFS https://www.icfsport.org/


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