LGBTI Organising in East Africa: The True Test for Human Rights Defenders

Date: January 1, 1970
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Sexual activities and identities that go against the grain of mainstream heterosexuality and expected gender behaviour – most visibly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) – are frequently subject to social repression in the form of verbal abuse, silence, hate crimes, ‘corrective rape’ of lesbians, honour-related violence and forced marriage. Various strategies have been adopted by LGBTI groups in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to promote the human rights of LGBTI persons. In Tanzania, for example, LGBTI groups have lobbied to support their members in seeking elective parliamentary representation with a view to amending the repressive laws which criminalise homosexuality. Efforts have also been made to sensitise the public and mainstream human rights and women’s rights organisations on LGBTI issues, through meetings, radio and print media. The experiences of Southern African LGBTI groups have shown that it is crucial that LGBTI groups explore ways to engage faith-based and human rights organisations in securing non-discrimination of sexual minorities. Most importantly, people need to be educated about their sexual rights. That is the basis for the LGBTI movement.

Publisher: Urgent Action Fund
Year of Publication: 2005

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