ANZ has became the first major publicly listed company in Australia and New Zealand to endorse the Darlington Statement, an agenda of priorities created by a group of intersex community advocates last year.
The company said it agrees to the priorities set out in the Darlington Statement and made the decision to endorse it following a recommendation from its internal LGBTIQ Pride Network.
“[ANZ] echoes the calls by the intersex human rights movement to engage across legal, health, education, awareness and employment issues,” ANZ said in a statement.
“ANZ Pride has actively supported this community since the creation of its Intersex Inclusion and Awareness focus group in 2016 which has led Intersex Awareness Day events and delivered training and awareness programs to staff as part of wider diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
ANZ Chief Financial Officer and the Executive Sponsor of the Pride network, Michelle Jablko, said, “We are proud to throw our support behind this community and encourage other organisations to support the Darlington Statement as we aim to build a more inclusive society.”
Intersex people are born with characteristics that don’t fit typical definitions of “male” or “female”, and physical variations in intersex people can include chromosomes, hormones and anatomy.
Close to two-percent of the population is born with intersex traits – similar to the number of people born with red hair – but intersex infants often undergo irreversible and unnecessary surgeries that can cause sterilisation, health issues and psychological harm.
‘Respect intersex human rights and bodily autonomy’
The Darlington Statement was created by a group of intersex advocates in Sydney last year.
The statement calls on government and clinical institutions to respect the human rights and bodily autonomy, greater respect for diversity and identity, and for intersex rights to be recognised in Australian anti-discrimination legislation.
“Current forms of oversight of medical interventions affecting people born with variations of sex characteristics have proven to be inadequate,” the statement reads.
Queensland intersex activist Bonnie Hart, one of the advocates who created the Darlington Statement, has been president of the long-running intersex group Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia for seven years.
Last month, she was honoured for her activism at Brisbane’s Trans Awards.