In providing numeric codes for the representation of human sexes, ISO/IEC 5218:2004 aims to:
As such, ISO/IEC 5218:2004 meets the requirements of most applications that need to code human sexes.
ISO/IEC 5218:2004, however, does not supplant national standards for coding sexes based on codes derived from names of sexes in various languages, nor does it provide codes for sexes that may be required in specific medical or scientific applications or in applications that need to code information on sex other than for human beings.
Annex A provides an illustrative and easy to understand example for addressing how the three strategic directions of ISO/IEC JTC1, namely portability, interoperability, and cultural adaptability, can inter-work. The rise in the use of the Internet underscores the validity for the need of such an approach.
Annex A also provides an example of unique unambiguous referencing and identification of a semantic component: (1) among heterogeneous IT systems, i.e., at the IT interface; and, (2) with multiple human interface equivalents, be they of a linguistic, symbolic, multimedia, etc., nature. This human interface also includes the provision for the requirements for the disabled using Braille, Bliss, etc.
Annex A concludes with a representation, in XML, of the multiple human interface (linguistic) equivalents for the four numeric codes of ISO/IEC 5218:2004, focusing on the different languages of countries participating in the work of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC32.