The Amicale Film Club will be screening the documentary “Category: Woman” on Friday 8 December from 12:15 to 2pm in the projection room of the Palais de l'Europe.
Phyllis Ellis, the Canadian director and producer of the documentary, will be present alongside Dr Payoshni Mitra, an activist for the rights of athletes.
The screening of the film (in English only) will be followed by a short Q&A session moderated by Francine H. Raveney, the EPAS Deputy Executive Secretary (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport), with Evgenia Giakoumopoulou, Head of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) at the Directorate General of Democracy and Human Dignity.
Synopsis: Who is a woman and who gets to decide?
When International sport governing bodies rule that 'identified' female athletes must medically alter their healthy bodies, under the guise of fair play, four champion runners from the Global South, fight back against racism, the policing of women's bodies in sport and the violation of their human rights.
When 18-year-old South African runner Caster Semenya burst onto the world stage in 2009, her championship was not celebrated, but marred by doubt, her personal medical records leaked to the international media. The public scrutiny of her body, driven by racism and sexism, questioning the most fundamental right of who she is, a great champion.
The International Amateur Athletics Federation (now World Athletics) ruled that certain female athletes must medically alter their healthy bodies in order to compete. Their naturally high androgen levels, deemed a performance advantage. “Category: Woman” focuses on four athletes, from the Global South forced out of competition by these regulations, the devastation to their bodies, and lives but equally arresting their passion for sport is further emboldened by their conviction to stand up for their human rights.
Following up on her award-winning film “Toxic Beauty,” Phyllis Ellis exposes an industry controlled by men putting women’s lives at risk while this policing of women’s bodies in sport remains, in a more nefarious way, under the guise of fair play.