By Jonk wa Mashamba
Tamara Mathebula, Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality, said the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wishes to express its unwavering support for Caster Semenya following her unsuccessful attempt in Germany to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“While we are supporting her to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, we are also confident that the European Court of Human Rights will overturn the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland that banned Ms. Semenya from participating in the 400m and 800m international competitions, wherein her strength lies.
“We are still firmly opposed to the decision by the World Athletics to subject female athletes to testosterone testing, as this is against the fundamental right to personal dignity and freedom to participate in sport activities.
“The Commission’s opposition is based on a strong conviction that the impact of this regulation will be detrimental to many female athletes like Caster and violates their human rights,” said Mathebula.
Mathebula said the CGE wishes to call on the private and public sectors, non-governmental Organisations, the sporting fraternity, faith-based organisations and the gender rights movements to support Semenya’s appeal at the European Court of Human Rights.
“In our view, this is not a Caster Semenya issue, but a gender oppression and human rights issue that will continue to linger in sport and athletic spaces far beyond Semenya’s era and perpetuate the continuous discrimination against many more female athletes,” Mathebula said.