Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Organising in the Region

Iranti’s LBQ work in the region focuses on the advocacy needs and strategies to support people who continue to suffer in their specific countries due to stigma, discrimination, and violence against their communities. We carefully and strategically consider our programmatic rollout based on these needs.

With our regional team, comprised of staff from the representing three countries (South Africa, Botswana, and Uganda), these activities and interventions are planned and implemented.

Below are some of the work Iranti has been doing in the region to strengthen the LBQ movement and advocacy.

Regional and National stakeholders’ engagements 

Iranti has conducted a partnership mapping exercise in the 22 countries we intend to solidify our advocacy in the region. We’ve Reached out to the Centre for Human Rights, the University of Pretoria, and we are in the process of finalizing a MOU for an established formal working partnership with their SOGIESC unit. 

Iranti, PAI (Pan African ILGA) and GIN (Global Interfaith Network) are the main coordinators of the Africa cohort for the renewal of the IE SOGI mandate. We had the African meeting on earlier in the year where we presented some of the anticipated challenges, we are likely to face in the renewal of the mandate as the African continent and how we have organised as a continent going forward.

South Africa UPR

Human rights defenders in South Africa jointly made a submission to assess relevant national and international legal frameworks as they apply to SOGIESC matters, determine the extent of a particular jurisdiction’s fulfilment of recommendations from previous UPR sessions, provide evidence of any human rights violations perpetrated, and make recommendations for the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBTI persons. 

Our submission was to the United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGIE) on South Africa’s realisation of the right of persons affected by violence and discrimination based on SOGI to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mentation health in relation to SDG3.

IDAHOBIT Webinar: Health & Wellbeing 

To commemorate IDAHOBIT, Iranti hosted a webinar moderated by our LBQ Rights Officer, Botho Maruatona. The conversation explored experiences of LBQ women and organisers in relation to the limitations that exist within the concepts of medical/health frameworks and policies, in that they subvert women’s agency and further take away various forms of freedoms. 

The panel discussion consisted of queer feminist activists from Mozambique, Lesotho, Kenya and Botswana who unpacked how they practically work around the balancing act of access to health and intentional practices of wellbeing and community care in addressing LBQ issues and what it means to think of wellbeing, access to health and sexual rights as well as building communities of care/practice in LBQ organising and the needs of LBQ persons. 

The webinar created an opportunity to nurture our connections with LBQ organisations and activists in East Africa, especially Kenya. Their interests are in SRHR, access to health services and feminist knowledge production. Lesotho and Mozambique also afford an opportunity to work with countries that are in the process of developing new LBQ organising and are interested in movement building and wellbeing.

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