Sonke Gender Justice welcomes the Castor Semenya European Court of Human Rights ruling

13 July 2023 – Sonke Gender Justice applauds the European Court of Human Rights for ruling in favour of double Olympic champion Caster Semenya in a verdict, that she was discriminated against by the World Athletics rules, that forced her to medically reduce her natural hormone levels to compete in major competitions.

Semenya has a condition known as hyperandrogenism and is classified by World Athletics as having “differences of sexual development”. She has been fighting the regulations by World Athletics since 2019. Semenya has failed twice in legal appeals to overturn the decision in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019 and in Switzerland. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Swiss government failed to defend Semenya from discrimination.

‘’ We welcome this ruling by the European rights court, as it is a victory for gender equality and the fight against discrimination. This is a victory for many like Semenya who are discriminated against by the World Athletics body. We hope that sanity will prevail and that these discriminatory provisions will finally be removed paving a way for all athletes to compete and showcase their talents. ‘’ said Bafana Khumalo, Co Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson of the Global MenEngage Alliance.

For media enquiries contact:

Kgomotso Mophulane, Communications & Strategic Information Manager, Sonke Gender Justice on or 0835196187.

Bafana Khumalo, Co-Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson, Global MenEngage Alliance: or 082 5784479.


Sonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. We believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice, and achieve gender transformation. For media releases, reports and news visit  and