All INIA Early Stage Researchers will spend time on secondments at partner institutions.  A brief review of their time spent on secondment will be posted here as the information becomes available.

Axel Keating (ESR6) Dublin City University->University of Helsinki

Axel Keating completed a secondment at the University of Helsinki in November 2021. The secondment was held remotely with discussions held via Zoom. Dr. Jukka Lehtonen, a Senior Researcher — with the title of Docent in Sociology of Education — in Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki, is a member of the INIA advisory board and hosted the secondment. Over the two weeks, Axel attended a conference on the histories of sexualities, gender diversity and queerness in the Nordic and Baltic region; attended a meeting of the university’s Gender Studies department; attended a workshop on research findings on the per­spect­ives of LGBTI people and or­gan­isa­tions on education and work en­vir­on­ments during the COVID-19 crisis; and met with local intersex activists, researchers, and education specialists in non-governmental organisations. Axel and Dr. Lehtonen also wrote a brief on the state of education on intersex traits and variations of sex characteristics in Finland — which you can read here.

Sean Saifa Wall (ESR2) University of Huddersfield -> Scottish Equality Network

In July 2021, I spent a month in Scotland as part of my secondment with the Equality Network. As an activist, I had previously been invited to consult with them about intersex issues. On my first trip, I met with activists and met with representatives in Scottish Parliament. This trip, however, was different because of COVID. Similar to before, I worked closely with Rebecca Crowther who is a Policy Officer at Equality Network. Except for a few times we met in the office, I mainly worked remote. This time with Equality Network was marked by learning about how policy operates in Scotland and the challenges to advancing intersex rights especially considering the recent passing of the Hate Crimes bill which includes protection based on sex characteristics. My work with Equality Network is ongoing as Rebecca and I will be planning a regional meeting of activists and advocates to discuss and strategize about the direction of intersex rights in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Adeline Berry (ESR 1) University of Huddersfield -> OII Europe

I had a secondment for 3 weeks with OII Europe from May 10th to 28th, 2021. The three weeks were conducted online due to COVID-19. There will be an additional week conducted in person in Berlin, planned for 2022.

I was welcomed through a zoom meeting by members at the beginning of my secondment. Everyone was gracious and welcoming for the entirety of my stay.

During my secondment, I attended staff meetings and contributed where I could.

I worked on a draft of a submission to the UN on the inclusion of intersex categories to a femicide statistics gathering questionnaire which was used as the basis of the submission that was submitted on the behalf of OII Europe.

I had separate meetings with team members, including the executive director, the member responsible for financing and the member responsible for education and community building. All were generous with their knowledge. Funding and financing are not areas of activism I am familiar with, but I feel it is important that I increase my knowledge. I felt my meeting was an invaluable primer on the subject.

I spoke with members of the organisation about possible future collaborations, and I plan to continue attending their community events. I feel that I increased my network during the secondment, strengthened existing relationships and took with me a lot of food for thought which I am hoping to apply to future endeavours.

Link to UN Femicide Questionnaire submission: