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Legal Gender Recognition




A Collaborative Project

As Gender Dynamix and Lawyers for Human Rights, we are embarking on a project that seeks to dismantle the rampant discrimination against transgender and gender diverse migrants in the asylum seeker system in South Africa. Lawyers for Human Rights published a critical study that assessed the forced migration system from a trans and gender diverse perspective. Our collaborative endeavour will seek to legally represent trans and gender diverse migrants, and we hope to be able to engage in robust sensitivity training in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Service, as frontline staff.

Research Report

Public Opinion of Transgender Rights in South Africa

South Africa was the first country to adopt a constitution that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orien-tation. This report analyzes data collected in the 2017 Global Attitudes Toward Transgender People survey to examine public opinion of transgender rights and status in South Africa.


Resources for you, ahead of public hearings on Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

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Position Paper

Keeping the Promise of Dignity and Freedom for All!

South Africa is one of the very few countries in Africa that offers protection to trans and gender diverse persons. However, the current model of legal gender recognition, through the Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act 49 of 2003, is highly pathologizing and incompatible with the country’s priority of achieving social equity for all who live in it. The pathologisation model is outdated and unethical, as all State law and policy should be in line with the Constitutional human rights framework.

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Position Paper Launch

Keeping the Promise of Dignity and Freedom for All: A Position Paper on Legal Gender Recognition in South Africa

This Position Paper was developed and published by Gender DynamiX (GDX) and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC). It outlines the organisations’ position on the right to legal gender recognition in South Africa. The pa­per advances a model of legal gender recognition based on self-determination enabling individuals in South Africa to have their gender legally recognised and reflected on identity documents based on a simple process of self-declaration. The model advanced here would include options for non-binary genders, as well as an option to omit gender markers completely in identity documents and in the identification number issued at birth registration.

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