Job opportunity: GIESC Programme Officer - Sex Characteristics and Intersex Issues


Opportunity at ILGA World:

GIESC Programme Officer: Sex Characteristics and Intersex Issues

 Deadline for applications: Sunday, 1 October 2023 – 1 PM (Central European Summer Time)
Start of the position: November / December 2023


 The image shows a background in six rounded frames, each of them with a colour of the Pride flag. The text reads: "We are hiring! We are hiring: GIESC Programme Officer- Sex Characteristics and Intersex Issues", and offers details about the opportunity, deadline to apply, and who can apply. The ILGA World logo sits at the bottom centre of the image

The image shows a background in six rounded frames, each of them with a colour of the Pride flag. The text reads: "We are hiring! We are hiring: GIESC Programme Officer- Sex Characteristics and Intersex Issues", and offers details about the opportunity, deadline to apply, and who can apply. The ILGA World logo sits at the bottom centre of the image


Who can apply?


  • with dedication - and experience in regard - to the human rights of persons with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC)
  • who meets the requirements set out below

is welcome to apply. 

ILGA World has an ongoing commitment to advancing the human rights of LGBTI people by paying particular attention to determinants of gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. These determinants are essential to advance the human rights of trans, gender diverse, intersex people and lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women.

Since 2015, ILGA World has had a dedicated programme to advance the rights of trans and gender diverse people by strengthening work at the global, regional and national levels.

We have been part of milestone achievements, such as the removal of pathologising trans categories in the International Classification of Diseases in 2018 and the creation and renewal of the UN Independent Expert on SOGI. We have also co-founded the UN Trans Advocacy Week, in which a coalition of trans-led organisations and programmes has brought trans human rights defenders to Geneva annually since 2017.
In 2020, this work expanded to include sex characteristics in the Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics (GIESC) programme, created from our ever-growing engagement with intersex communities. In 2022, our programme led the first-ever Intersex Advocacy Week at the United Nations. In 2023 we shall launch the Intersex Legal Mapping Report. This report compiles legal information about intersex worldwide and seeks to create awareness about the human rights violations experienced by intersex people.  

Addressing human rights violations against trans, gender diverse, intersex people and LBQ women roots in the assessment that violence, discrimination, and prejudice against persons of diverse SOGIESC have a common cause: the cis-endosex-heteronormative, ableist, cultural, medical, and social model in which gender and sex are perceived as binary, mutually exclusive, medically normative, or a consequence of a person's particular body. Being of a certain (binary) gender is consequently considered unchangeable, and societies have expectations towards a person's social role and behaviour based on their sex and gender, which includes the conceptualisation of sexual attraction as exclusively heterosexual. Trans, gender diverse, intersex people and LBQ women are particularly affected, as well as gay men, by the binary gender and sex model that defines being straight, cis and endosex as the norm. 

Rooted in feminist principles, the programme seeks to expand ILGA World’s work in the field, build bridges, and strengthen allyship and solidarity across movements, in particular feminist and women’s movements. The GIESC programme collaborates with other intersectional social justice movements, which are equally impacted by the anti-rights rhetoric.

The aims of the GIESC programme are to:

  • Advocate for meaningful inclusion of GIESC issues in the programmatic, policy and normative work of multilateral institutions, in particular UN human rights mechanisms;
  • Build institutional relationships in and across multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, and key stakeholders to mainstream trans, gender diverse, intersex and women’s issues;
  • Raise visibility, awareness and allyship within the ILGA regions and the broader LGBTI movement on issues pertaining to gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics;
  • Work towards the depathologisation and decriminalisation of trans, gender diverse and intersex persons at all levels;
  • Support ILGA World’s research to cover GIESC issues in the organisation’s research portfolio holistically, ensuring trans, gender diverse, intersex and LBQ communities help conceptualise and deliver such research;
  • Empower trans, gender diverse, intersex people and LBQ women organisations and communities in all their diversities to advocate for their rights;
  • Support community organising led by trans, gender diverse, intersex people and LBQ women globally;
  • Raise visibility and awareness on (SO)GIESC issues within the feminist movement(s) and engage with feminist and women’s rights organisations;
  • Serve as a bridge between feminist, women’s and intersectional movements by encouraging and supporting collaboration and coalition building.


The Sex Characteristics Programme Officer position

ILGA World seeks a Programme Officer to cover predominantly sex characteristics aspects of the GIESC Programme in close cooperation with the Senior Programme Officer of the GIESC programme and under the supervision of the Programme Manager of the GIESC Programme. The role requires working closely with intersex communities and organisations across the globe.

ILGA’s work in these contexts is highly collaborative with our member organisations, especially trans and intersex organisations and communities worldwide. In our advocacy work, we seek to connect national-level activists and global-level UN human rights mechanisms and other relevant multilateral fora.

The successful candidate will have to be able to navigate intersex community spaces, as well as have sound technical knowledge and background in sex characteristics and intersex advocacy work. Being able to offer a solid intersectional feminist analysis of our issues and having worked on gender equality is a plus.

The Programme Officer will work closely with the United Nations Programme at ILGA World to identify advocacy opportunities for intersex communities, as well as intersecting and decolonial identities. Experience with policy and legal analysis is fundamental for this role. The Programme Officer will engage with the Research Department and help us expand our database and new fields of data and knowledge used to boost activism globally. The Programme Officer will engage with the Communications Department to ensure the visibility of intersex people and their demands and respond to media requests and analyses.  

The ideal candidate will start working in November / December 2023.



The Officer on Sex Characteristics supports and reports to the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Manager, in the implementation of the GIESC programme. This includes:

  • Work towards empowering intersex communities, organisations and people in all their diversities to advocate for their rights with a particular focus on international and multilateral organisations, including developing and drafting policy positions, briefing notes, talking points, etc.
  • Support, in collaboration with ILGA regions, global, regional and national community organising, led by intersex people, as well as technical support and other assistance
  • Mainstreaming sex characteristics, sex-based and intersex issues across the Office and organisation
  • Work towards the depathologisation of intersex people on all levels
  • Providing technical support to colleagues, key stakeholders, partners, etc.
  • Coordinating the development and implementation of programmes in collaboration within and across teams and departments
  • Researching, identifying, and analysing good practices, strategic opportunities, emerging issues and trends that impact intersex people, their organisations, and communities
  • Mobilising and engaging relevant stakeholders, partners and/or coalitions to advance the programme objectives
  • Working on the sports sector on the intersections of sex characteristics
  • Building the capacity of the Office and stakeholders on sex characteristics issues, including intersex issues
  • Lead on the Intersex Advocacy Week on behalf of ILGA World as well as other UN-and multilateral institution-related activities
  • Work towards raising visibility and awareness within ILGA World and the wider LGBTI movement on issues pertaining to sex characteristics.
  • Advocate for inclusion of GIESC issues, with a focus on sex characteristics issues, in UN processes, international human rights norms and towards other global actors
  • Collaborate with other actors at the global level in raising awareness on GIESC issues, in particular on sex characteristics issues
  • Actively contribute to promoting and achieving the organisation’s objectives
  • Ensure that all activities are carried out with full regard to policies on diversity and equal opportunities
  • Ensure compliance with such laws and regulations as may be applicable to the operations of the Service Area
  • Undertake all duties in compliance with health and safety regulations and legislation
  • Undertake other duties that may be reasonably required from time to time
  • Attend conferences, seminars and meetings on behalf of ILGA World
  • Work as a part of the ILGA World Programme’s Department and collaborate across teams and programmes.

ILGA values creative and inclusive approaches to work and management that have been achieved through cross-service area working and the participation of staff at all levels in the organisation. Staff have line management arrangements and specific key relationships, which are detailed in their job descriptions, but they will also need to work collaboratively with their colleagues in order to achieve their agreed targets and outcomes to the required standards.


Performance of duties, remuneration, and benefits

  • ILGA World is currently introducing a flexible workplace regime – under the new rules, this position can be implemented remotely and does not require relocation to Geneva, Switzerland. We are currently not hiring in Geneva for this post
  • The position is advertised at 100% of a full-time position
  • ILGA World remunerates under a three-tiered salary matrix structure. The annual salary being offered for the post ranges between 60’000 CHF and 75’600 CHF for the 100% position, depending on location
  • In addition, ILGA World offers 25 days annual leave and contributions to health care costs
  • ILGA World operates under a flexible working system that - among others - includes flexible working hours
  • The weekly working time is 37.5 hours on a 100% position



  • A master’s university degree or equivalent in international gender studies, international law, sociology, social sciences, or a related field combined with 3 years of relevant work experience
  • A first-level university degree in combination with 5 years of relevant and qualifying experience
  • 7 years of relevant and qualifying experience in lieu of a master’s or first-level degree
  • Must have worked or at least gained relevant experiences internationally, in particular in Global South contexts
  • Ideally have worked for intersex-lead organisations in a staff or volunteer capacity
  • Has direct experience with LGBTI or feminist, SRHR, FGM activism
  • 3-5 years relevant and qualifying experience designing, managing international programmes, advocating for intersex equality equality
  • Demonstrated experience working in multicultural and international programmes
  • Experience working closely with and supporting trans, gender diverse, intersex and/or LBQ-led organisations and groups, particularly in the Global South
  • Demonstrated experience advocating with multilateral institutions, including the United Nations human rights mechanisms
  • Extensive technical knowledge and expertise on sex characteristics programmes, policy analysis, capacity building and extensive experience in strategic planning, drafting reports, policy briefs and documents
  • Working and building partnerships with member organisations, stakeholders, governments, multilateral institutions, and allied civil society movements
  • Experience countering the anti-gender/ anti-rights rhetoric
  • Demonstrate rooted connections with allied and intersectional feminist movements
  • Strong communication skills, able to communicate clearly and effectively
  • Tailoring language, tone, style, and format to the audience
  • Ability to work in proficient English (mandatory) and ideally Spanish. Other UN languages - more specifically, French, Arabic, Russian or Mandarin -are also welcome
  • Adherence to, and alignment with, the ILGA World Code of Conduct


How to apply

The application for this position needs to be submitted online here: by Sunday, 1 October 2023.

We recommend you download the application form in Word format from here, prepare your application and copy/paste it into the application form. Please note that the survey cannot be saved.

Should there be well-founded reasons why this was not possible, you may submit the application form as well by e-mail to recruitment Rename this file SURNAME_Name_SC_O.docx (for instance: SMITH_John_S_O.docx) before you submit it. Should you have questions in regard to this call, please reach out to recruitment

Late submissions. Please plan your submission in advance. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.


Key dates

1 September 2023 Call for candidates
1 October 2023, 1:00 pm: CEST Deadline for applications
4 October 2023 Shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews
9– 13 October 2023 Interviews with shortlisted candidates and skills exercise
27 October 2023 Offer is made
November-December 2023 Successful candidate takes up position (if notice period allows)


ILGA World equal opportunities policy

ILGA World is an Equal Opportunities Employer. 

ILGA World is committed to social justice, regardless of any individual or group characteristics, including gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sex characteristics, race, age, disability, ability, economic status, national origin, religion, ethnicity, and historical, cultural, and geographic experiences, nonetheless recognizing the unique challenges faced by individuals with each of these characteristics and by those with intersecting identities.

We offer fair treatment to all current and potential employees, interns and contractors and aim to ensure that all such individuals receive equal treatment (including access to employment, training, and opportunities for promotion, as relevant) regardless of any personal attribute as listed above.

ILGA World promotes gender and equality mainstreaming and actively promotes equality in all policies and actions. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Lesbian and bisexual women, intersex persons, trans and non-binary persons, and persons from the Global South are especially encouraged to apply. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

If more than one applicant is considered equally qualified for the position, priority will be given to applicants from marginalised and/or underrepresented groups.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Get updates on LGBTI rights issues, and on our work to support LGBTI civil society worldwide