A network of human rights organizations from throughout Africa is banding together to demand an end to the prejudice and neglect that LBTQI women continue to experience.
This rallying call comes on the heels of International Women’s Day, when campaigners throughout the continent work relentlessly to preserve the rights of underprivileged women.
The 2022 study on The Impact of Covid-19 on LBQ by the Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association In the SADC region, women discovered appalling levels of inequality. LBTQI women suffered prejudice when attempting to receive healthcare, including services connected to Covid-19, SRHR, HIV/AIDS, and HRT, according to a statement issued by the organization on Tuesday.
According to the organisation, LBQTI women are either criminalized or not recognized as women in most African women’s rights campaigns. This excludes them from various African feminists and women’s rights movements, depriving them the opportunity to profit from the battle for equal rights for all women.
Because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBQTI women continue to endure violence, discrimination, and human rights violations. Many lesbians experience sexual violence, while bisexual women report physical assaults from male partners when their sexuality is known. Some people have been murdered.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to highlight such injustices and celebrate LBQTI women’s achievements.
“As a regional organization with a mandate to ensure human rights protection of LBQTI women in Africa, we are concerned about the increased call for criminalization in Africa against gender and sexual minorities. LBQTI women stand most at risk with the criminalization of LGBTIQ+ persons,” said Nate Brown, Executive Director of Pan Africa ILGA.
Barbra Wangare, Co-Chair of the PAI Board, emphasized that “All women must be respected and protected notwithstanding their different identities and orientations.”
Pan Africa ILGA calls on women’s rights movements to be inclusive and welcome LBQTI women in their spaces, while governments should include them in initiatives that guide women.
The battle for LGBTQI rights is an enduring one, as numerous individuals persist in encountering various forms of mistreatment.