Iranti-org, creating meaningful space for Queer Activism. Iranti-org is a queer human rights visual media organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Iranti-org works within a human rights framework as its foundational platform for raising issues on Gender, Identities and Sexuality. Read more about Iranti-org.
Duduzile Zozo's community and family disappointed about court's postponement
Johannesburg, 9 July 2014
On 29 June 2014, Duduzile Zozo's memorial evoked much emotion, a year after she was murdered. Iranti-org in partnership with IHAWU and FEW along with Lesbian activists from the eastern region of Johannesburg convened at the site where Duduzile Zozo was murdered on 30 June 2013. Thuziwe Zozo and her family felt a sense of comfort that the Lesbian community have not forgotten Duduzile. There is much more frustration from the community pertaining to the lack of details on why the magistrate's court decided to postpone the case to October 2014.
Africa by Country: Zambia
Sodomy in Zambia
Zambia, 3 July 2014
On July 3, a court in Kapiri Mposhi, in Zambia, acquitted Philip Mubiana and James Mwape. They had been held in jail for almost fourteen months, charged with homosexual sex under Zambia’s sodomy law, which carries a sentence of up to fourteen years. The presiding judge didn’t comment on the justice of the law itself; he only found that there was no substantive evidence against the accused, who were arrested on hearsay and suspicion, reportedly turned in by family members.
The triumph for the two is mixed; with their faces and names published all over Zambian media, their lives in the country are wrecked. Still, the court’s decision reflects the strength and persistence of Zambian LGBT campaigners. It brings back memories for me, vivid and piercing. I first visited Zambia sixteen years ago, in 1998, when the country was in the midst of a huge collective frenzy about the dangers of “homosexuality.” With every public figure from university professors to the President himself taking turns deploring the incursion of perversion, it seemed unlikely that there would ever be a Zambian LGBT movement, much less a court victory to celebrate. What happened back then holds lessons not just for Zambia, but for other movements today. Some indulgence in my own memories of sodomy in Zambia may thus be justified.
LGBTI activists, women’s rights groups and the broader community gathered at the site where Duduzile Zozo was brutally murdered on the 30 June 2013. IHAWU in partnership with FEW and Iranti-org commemorated the life of Duduzile. Her family, joined the commemoration and her mom in particular, Ms Thuziwe Zozo remains a strong advocate for justice. See more pictures and read the full story...
Duduzile Zozo: commemoration
A year ago – In memory of Duduzile Zozo
The commemoration will take place at Thintwa Street in Thokoza, next to Zion Christian Church (ZCC), 29 June at 12:00 pm.
27 June 2014, Johannesburg
by Kokeletso Legoete, Iranti-org
Duduzile was laid to rest (13 July 2013). Photo by Gugu Mandla, Iranti-org
The 30th June 2014 marks a full year of Duduzile Zozo’s death. Duduzile Zozo’s body was found across her home in Thokoza on the morning of 30 June 2013 in a neighbours’ yard. Dudu was laid to rest on 13 July 2013. Four months later her perpetrator was arrested and detained at the Palm Ridge prison.
Duduzile’s parents during the funeral (13 July 2013). Photo by Gugu Mandla
Duduzile’s court case began on 21 October 2013, shortly after Lesley Motleleng’s was arrested. The accused later applied for bail, of which the proposed amount he would have paid was estimated to a R1000. However, he was denied bail, with supporting evidence brought forth by the investigating officer on the case, Captain Mbeka.
Duduzile’s trial was set to begin from 26 May 2014 and run until 13 June 2014; the trial was postponed on 26 May. The trial was postponed due to the reason that the magistrate in charge of the case has other ‘important’ cases at the moment. The trial is now set to run from 27 October 2014.
Lesley Lekgoa Motleleng, Duduzile’s murderer, at Palm Ridge court. Photo by Tumi Mkhuma
IHAWU; an LGBTI community-based organization based in Katlehong, in the east of Johannesburg. On 29 June IHAWU will host a memorial service in remembrance of Duduzile Zozo in partnership with Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), Iranti-org and other LGBTI organizations. The commemoration will take place at Thintwa Street in Thokoza, next to Zion Christian Church (ZCC), at 12:00 pm.
Duduzile’s trial will recommence on 27 October 2014. It is sad how this case has been delayed, with multiple postponements. It is, however, incredible to find her mother patient enough for the law to take its course. “These things take time, we should be patient. I only pray that justice be served,” said Thuziwe Zozo, Duduzile's mother. May justice be served for Duduzile.
Duduzile Zozo trial continues
Duduzile Zozo: Court Proceedings finally begin
South Africa, 11 March 2014
by Kokeletso Legoete
Lesley Motleleng being guided to sign forms for his trial.
Photo by Kokeletso Legoete
Duduzile Zozo’s murder case made its first appearance in court on 21 October 2013. Zozo’s mother suspected Lesley Motleleng, the police followed her lead and he was arrested. Motleleng later applied for bail. His bail application was denied on the 26 January, supported by evidence brought forth by Captain Johannes Mbeka, the investigating officer.
According to Captain Mbeka's testimony, it appears that Zozo's body was violated before her death. "The postmortem proves that a foreign object was forced into Zozo’s vagina before she died," said Captain Mbeka.
Captain Mbeka presented his evidence and provided reasons why Motleleng should not be granted bail. “The accused lied when he was asked whether he had committed any kind of crimes before. The fact is, he has been arrested in the past for housebreaking and theft. Secondly, Motleleng has been suicidal ever since his arrest, his uncles and friends stated under written oath. Therefore, granting him bail may lead to him killing himself.”
The investigating officer further explained that Motleleng’s release will not only be putting him at risk of the community killing him out of anger, but also will endanger the lives of the family he where he lives. Captain Mbeka concluded by saying that "If Motleleng is released on bail, it would not be in the interest of justice."
LGBTI activists gathered at Palm Ridge Court, singing songs of struggle.
Photo by Kokeletso Legoete
LGBTI activists from different sections of Katlehong and Thokoza, in the east of Johannesburg have been gathering at Palm Ridge Court in solidarity with Zozo's family. They were saddened and angered by a proposed bail of R1000. He was, however, denied bail.
Lesley Motleleng has been detained at the Palm Ridge Prison ever since his arrest and will now be moved to Johannesburg prison where his lawyer can visit him and get his statements. The trial will be run from 26 May to 13 June 2014.
Global Trans Research and Advocacy Training Programme (GTRAP)
United States, 28 June 2014
"Injustice at Every Turn," was a study originally undertaken by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. It documents discrimination of Transgender and gender non-conforming (T-GNC) people in the US. It surveyed 6,450 T-GNC individuals from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The second phase of this work involved the GTRAP team comprising of Jaime Grant, Jack Harrison-Quintana and Ignacio Rivera, traveling globally, connecting with activists, advocates and researchers that are interested in tools to construct their own culturally-specific trans/intersex study that supports their lives and work.
On the 3-4 June 2014, GTRAP in partnership with Iranti-org, S.H.E and GDX convened an Africa wide training programme. This media report shares some of the perspectives from the GTRAP team and the participating partners from the African region.
Event: IDAHOT 2014
South African LGBTI voices against homophobia and transphobia
Johannesburg, 21 June 2014
South Africa joined 120 countries on 17 May in voicing our right to our right to freedom of expression. This event was held at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. It brought together LGBTI organisations in the city. The programme focused on the intersections between SOGI and our right to religious and cultural freedom.
Event: Queer in Africa colloquium
QUEER IN AFRICA:
CONFRONTING THE CRISIS
Cape Town, 11 June 2014
A photogallery on the Critically Queer exhibition curated by Jabu Pereira from Iranti-org, and the colloquium on the crisis in Africa, curated by Dr Zethu Matebeni from Huma, UCT. Neo Musangi performed at the Jammie Stairs at UCT. Their performance is titled, Killing The Dead.
Neo Musangi writes on the chalk board ‘Galatians I Corinthians’ at the beginning of their performance Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Neo peels a carrot during their silent Performance at the Jammie stairs, UCT Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Inking of the bible as they demonstrates as part of the performance. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Audience watch attentively to Neo Musangi’s silent Performance Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Global Transgender Research Advocacy Program (GTRAP) team attended Jack Harrison-Quintana and Amelie Zurn-Galansky, moved by Neo’s performance
Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Neo Musangi engages with the audience at the end of their performance. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Selogadi Mamphane during her Chromotherapy performance at the Old Zoo the Queer in Africa Exhibition, Huma UCT. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Overview performance titled, Chromatherapy. Selogadi Mampane at the opening of Critically Queer exhibition, Huma,UCT. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Neo Musangi shows emotions by tearing apart the bible in their performance. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Sandra Ntebi and Unoma Azuah at Chromotherapy Performance, Huma UCT Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Neo Musangi and Jabu C. Pereira, co-founders of Iranti-org shared their experiences on arts and activism in Africa at the symposium, hosted by Huma,UCT Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
The opening of the exhibition of Critically Queer & book launch of Reclaiming Afrikan at Centre for African Studies Gallery, Huma UCT. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Members of the music group Umlilo pose before their performance. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Back view of a music performance by Umlilo Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Lead singer of Umlilo during they music performance. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
The panellist at the symposium engaging about the crisis in Africa on sexuality and gender identity. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Dr Zethu Matebeni and one Prof Gloria Wekker from Utrecht University engaged in a dialogue with the audience. Prof. Wekker provided some closing remarks.
Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Dr Zethu Matebeni, facilitating the symposium: Queer in Africa: Confronting the Crisis, Huma, UCT. Photo by Kelebogile Ntladi
Ugandan LGBTI activist speaks out about the horrors in her country
Uganda, 11 June 2014
by Kokeletso Legoete
Nabagesera, Ugandan human rights activist. Photo by Ayanda Msiza
Iranti-org recently had the privilege to talk to activist, Kasha Nebagasere about the conditions in Uganda for LGTBI people and about the anti-homosexuality act (#AHB), signed by President Yoweri Museveni on 24 February 2014.
Nebagasere and many other LGBTI persons’ lives have been under siege since the signing of the anti-gay bill in February. Her work as an activist is now perceived as illegal, prohibiting her from doing her work. Just recently, while she was out of her country, her landlord evicted her from her home.
“Landlords are required to report people perceived to be LGBT in their houses and if I stay, it is seen as 'promoting homosexuality'. Landlords are in danger if they rent rooms in their houses to people perceived to be gay,” Nebagasere says.
Anyone who talks positively about LGBTI issues could face seven years in jail, as this is perceived as promoting homosexuality.
The offices of her organization have also been closed and their materials destroyed. The environment has changed because of the new law. It is impossible for an LGBTI person or suspected LGBT persons, to find jobs and places to live. “Some (landlords) are doing this genuinely fearing jail for hosting LGBTI people but others are actually agree with homophobia and justifying it by evicting people. It is a two-way punishment,” Nebagasere explains.
People are being neglected and disowned by their families, leading to an increase in the number of attempted suicides. Recently a 17-year old boy died two weeks after being admitted to hospital following a failed suicide. LGBTI people have been taken and kept in torture houses, raped, beaten up and humiliated. Illegal arrests have also been taking place, where people are taken out of their homes at midnight and arrested.
People are also being forced to go for HIV testing and anal testing, to find out if they have been practicing homosexual acts. “My life has always been on the edge, but now there is actual danger and I fear for my life. People feel they can do anything to us because the government is on their side. They feel they can attack us as the government is saying ‘get rid of homosexuals’," Nebagasere says.
The media is not making it easier. In fact it has made the situation worse by printing names of people suspected or perceived to be gay in newspapers. A radio station has been suspended for hosting LGBTI people.
Despite all the doom and gloom, Nebagasere can see some positives coming from these problems. “Our voices are being heard around the world. With all the pressure, maybe one day we may see homosexuality being decriminalized in Uganda. We are already petitioning the penal code and we have also filed a petition in the South African court of to fight this.”
Nebagasere pleads with every LGBTI person and organisation in the world to stand in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBTI community, “We really need support from our partners in the country, in the region and also internationally. We need various kinds of help: for example, money to bail people out of jail or support for court cases. We also ask people out there who are from the LGBTI community, please to get in touch with us. Don’t be alone and don’t feel alone. We are here. We cannot solve every problem we are faced with, but we can be in it together, so that people don’t feel that they’re being abandoned.”
It takes bravery and courage for Nebagasere to speak out. She is in grave danger of being arrested. Regardless of the negative impact, Nebagasere believes that through solidarity and support, it is possible to work towards a positive outcome.
EVENT: Transhealth, Advocacy and Research Conference
Profile focus: Liesl Theron, founder of GDX
Cape Town, 4 June 2014. Liesl Theron is one of the founders of Gender Dynamix (GDX), a transgender organisation in SA. GDX remains a resilient trans organisation. Liesl leaves GDX after 10 years of service. Sbu Kheswa is the newly appointed GDX Director.
EVENT: Transhealth, Advocacy and Research Conference
DAY 3 SWEAT programme on support and advocacy for the rights of trans sex workers in SA, at the Transgender & Health, Advocacy and Research Conference
Cape Town, 4 June 2014. The 2nd Transhealth Conference in SA created space for trans women to speak out about the right to work and to be protected. Sex work remains criminalised in SA. SWEAT is a leading human rights and advocacy organisation, which mobilise and create activst spaces for sex workers.
EVENT: Transhealth, Advocacy and Research Conference
DAY 2 Building Global Solidarity among Transwomen at the Transgender & Health, Advocacy and Research Conference
Cape Town, 3 June 2014
Focused on building a transfeminist movement regionally and globally. The 2nd Transhealth, Advocacy and Research Conference is taking place in Cape Town, 31 May-2nd June. The focus of the conference is on looking at past discriminatory practices and finding new approaches for change at a policy, legal and wellness level.
News by country: BOTSWANA ACTIVISM
LEGABIBO's legal challenge
Botswana, 3 June 2014
Dr Unity Dow is the legal representative for LEGABIBO and LGBTI human rights and advocacy organisation from Botswana. LEGABIBO has been denied the right to legally register as an association. This clip documents LEGABIBO's ongoing challenge with the State.
EVENT: Transhealth, Advocacy and Research Conference
DAY 1 Transgender & Health, Advocacy and Research Conference
Cape Town, 1 June 2014
The 2nd Transhealth, Advocacy and Research Conference is taking place in Cape Town, 31 May-2nd June. The focus of the conference is on looking at past discriminatory practices and finding new approaches for change at a policy, legal and wellness level.
EVENT: idahOT 2014
17 May 2014 IDAHOT Day
Johannesburg, 17 May
On 17 May 2014 we will come together as a global community to partake in collective actions on LGBTI Rights and our right to Freedom of Expression. I would like to share with you a story produced by Iranti-org, This video forms part of our national action. We have invited a panel to engage with the media piece which speaks to various challenges related to our freedom of expression in SA. We have in a complex way brought together key issues related to gender expression, sexual orientation, culture and religion and it's embodiment in what we generally term LGBTI Rights. We expect our audience at tomorrow's event to engage on the various issues raised.
On behalf of the Iranti-org team we urge you to do one action to stop homophobia and transphobia.
EVENT: Queer in africa
29 May - 2 June Symposium and Festival
Queer in Africa, Confronting the Crisis
Cape Town, 1 May. This series of discussions, exhibition and performances seeks to address the current wave of anti-homosexuality backlash and laws in the continent. The events will take place at the upper campus of the University of Cape Town, as part of Africa Month celebrations, as well as various parts of the city.
Southern African Media Makers Network training workshop by Iranti-org
Johannesburg, 17 April 2014
On 10-14 February 2014, Iranti-org hosted a Southern African Media Makers Network training workshop in Johannesburg. LGBTI activists spent a week in training learning about media and the importance of amplifying our voices in all spaces. The Network hopes to generate a series of stories from organisations across the continent.
Africa by Country ~ BotSwana
Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana
takes its government to court
Ratanang Mosweu (in a grey suit) briefing about the case background before they headed to court. Photo taken by Gugu Mandla
Botswana, 18 March 2014
By Legoete Kokeletso
On tuesday morning LEGABIBO case took to court. Represented by Botswana’s Unity Dow;a human rights activist and a legal judge. Tuesday morning the LEGABIBO members and supporters had a breakfast briefing at the Lansmore hotel. Heads of arguments and the case background/history were presented to the group in preparation and information sharing concerning the case the organization has filed against the state.
LEGABIBO was denied registration on the 12th of March 2012, because according to the Director of the Department of Civil and National Registration, Botswana constitution does not recognise homosexuals and that the objectives of the organization are contrary to section 7(2) of the Societies Act.
The heads of argument to the registration of the organization are based on violation of various rights of the Lesbians, Gays and bisexuals of Botswana that are deeply -rooted in the Botswana Constitution.
Rights violated are:
Section 13 which provides for the protection of freedom of assembly and association;
Section 12 which provides for the protection of freedom of expression;
Section 15 which provides for protection from discrimination;
Section 5 which provides for the right to personal liberty;
Section 7 which provides for the protection from inhuman treatment.
After the case background briefing, a session of poster presentation took place shortly before the group headed to court. The organization members had dedicated a day to making posters that expressed their right and opinions regarding the state’s refusal to register an organization where they can freely associate and share ideas. The intention was to march to court prior to the court proceeding, however they were denied permit to march. That did not stop them from spreading in groups and walking to the high court with their placards raised high.
Dr. Unity Dow, LEGABIBO legal representative preparing herself to present the case in court. Photo by Ayanda Msiza
Dr. Unity Dow took approximately three(3) hours addressing the background of the case, with reference to the Botswana constitution, outlaying the heads of argument as to why the organization needs to be legally registered.
“This is a case about the right to organise, the right to assemble the right to a platform. If you don’t give them a chance to convince, you may still not agree at the end of the day, but I think democracy demands that every group have a right or an opportunity to try to convince...whether or not people agree with me or agree with the state, I think this is very important. My clients wants to be registered...” Dr. Dow said to Iranti-org.
The courtroom was filled with LGBTI people from across Botswana to support the organization. All dressed in red T-shirts with advocacy message “Free to organize. It’s our right". Dr. Dow was stunned by the attendance and support of the gay community in court “I was impressed by how many people came to court. I know is not that easy to come out and say I am gay, so I am impressed by the gay community that came to court today. Because the world is run by those who show up, and they showed up today”
Advocate Moatlhodi Marumo who stood in as the case opponent argued that the courts are not responsible for making the laws of the country, and that LEGABIBO should understand it as the decision of parliament. Instead of probably opposing the case and defending the Director of the Department of Civil and National Registration’s reaction to the organization, his argument was based on the approach that the organization took in addressing their issue.
He expressed that the applicants were wrong to file a case to court without consulting other stakeholders of the decision makers on why LEGABIBO cannot be registered. Seemingly unprepared or uninformed of the case, little did he attempt to defend his argument.
Bachizi Kwele, a young gay man who came to offer support to LEGABIBO was very excited and eager to hear what the government has to say regarding the case, “ this is a step in history for us to achieve a huge mandate. It was mandatory for me to be here, to show support, to get my voice heard because for me to be recognized I have to step up and say, hey, i am here and i want to be recognized”.
Freedom of association is a fundamental human right for every group that shares the same interest and seek to engage in issues that affect them. Iranti-org is fully in support of the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana and we will report on this case till the very end. The date for judgment is to be announced in time by the judge.
Africa by country ~ South Africa
EFF vows to represent ‘LGBTI’ despite its manifesto being invisible on the matter
Advocate Dali Mpofu, the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Gauteng premier candidate addressing his speech on ‘LGBTI’ issues.
South Africa, 1 April 2014
By Kokeletso Legoete
Johannesburg. EFF held a minority group’s seminar, addressing ‘LGBTI’ and people with disability issues. The seminar was held at Braamfontein, Johannesburg at a hotel’s conference room. Advocate Dali Mpofu, the keynote speaker at the seminar addressed the EFF’s interests in working with the minority groups by emphasizing their commitment to protecting everyone’s constitutional rights and engaging in activities that would protect the LGBTI community.
It is shocking and paradoxical when the party’s president, Julius Malema, made a negative public remark about intersex people during the Caster Semenya’s gender-questioning havoc. Malema expressed in public that there is no such thing as a hermaphrodite in Pedi, that there is only a woman or a man, therefore nobody should impose their imperialism on him. When Mpofu was asked about this, he replied “Do not judge the EFF based on anything else, judge the EFF based on its policy.”
As people arrived at the seminar, they were handed the EFF’s election manifesto that listed LGBTI as Social Welfare Services, why this? No one knows. There was no description as to how LGBTI people fit in within the party’s manifesto, although Mpofu had a handwritten manifesto that nobody else had that actually provided details about their role within the LGBTI community. When he was asked about this, he told that “EFF is continuously amending and improving sections in its manifesto pertaining to the LGBTI community.”
It is not surprising to hear that these kinds of seminars will be taking place from time to time as it is election period. All political parties support LGBTI people little or not at all and would claim their support to only very small crowds.
However, we still hope they will keep their promises, do their jobs and protect human rights for ALL
Traditional Values & Cultural Practices Not at the expense of women and LGBT people!
New York, 14 March 2014
Commission on the Status of Women, session 58, cross-regional panel
Some states and other actors are increasingly claiming that ”traditional values” should take precedence over universal human rights for all. In addition ”cultural practices” are used to limit the rights and freedom of women who do not given any say in the issues surrounding their right to live.
All women and in particular lesbian and bisexual women and trans people are particularly targeted by these so-called ”traditional values”.
This cross-regional panel explores the discourse around ”traditional values” and harmful cultural practices. In focus are the strategies used to fight back against the patriarchal structures aiming to limit the freedom and rights of women on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity,
gender expression and sexuality.
Manny de Guerre: Founder and organizer of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival based in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She has carried out extensive research in Russia concerning the importance of the arts and culture in terms of its social, political and psychological significance.
Victor Mukasa: One of the first out and open activists in Uganda. Has been involved in important legal cases and been one of the most outspoken and important voices in Uganda. The influence that Victor has had on the movement can not be underestimated.
Maria Fontanelle: Media and advocacy officer for United and Strong, the sole LGBTQI advocacy group in her island home of Saint Lucia(Caribbean). Maria Fontenelle brings more than fifteen years of media experience to LGBTI activism. She has also collaborated with local, regional and international partners on HIV AIDS and human rights.
Sheherezade Kara: Communications and Advocacy Manager for ARC International, working to advance human rights relating to sexual orientation and gender identity at the international level. Prior to joining ARC, Sheherezade worked as an associate in the advocacy and programmes department of Human Rights Watch in Geneva, contributing to the advocacy of the organisation at the UN Human Rights Council.
Angie Umbac: President of the Rainbow Rights Project, a NGO of lawyers and gender rights activists that provides a legal and policy thinktank for the Filipino LGBT community. She heads the Philippine research team for violence against lesbians, bisexuals, and trans women in Asia, a five-country regional project with the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Supported by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL)
EVENT: VIDCAST from #CSW58
LATIN AMERICA: Stigmatization, discrimination and violence against lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people
New York City, 16 March 2014
by Jabu Pereira
The seminar was held on 11 March 2014 as part of the CSW Parrallel Events. The panel spoke about violence experienced by LBT persons in Chile, Colombia, St. Lucia and Venezuela. Violence experienced by LBT remains invisible and unacknowledged. This panel was organised by IGLHRC, Rompiendo el Silencio, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes, Director of Programa de Acción por la Igualdad y la Inclusión Social (PAIIS), St. Lucia, United and Strong Inc., and ILGA.
Putting LBT Rights on the #CSW58 Agenda
by Jabu Pereira
New York City, 13 March 2014
IGLHRC, in collaboration with its partners, Rainbow Rights Project in the Phillipines and LBTI Activists from Sri Lanka, hosted a parrallel event at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 58th session. The panel discussion looked at violence through the lens of LBT people in Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia and Japan. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be achieved when significant populations of women are denied the right to bodily autonomy, which includes the rights of lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender women.
This panel took place on the 10 March 2014. IGLHRC and its partners will release the findings in May 2014.
Iranti-org documented the seminar and reported on this in collaboration with United and Strong, St Lucia and RFSL SOGI news. for more information on the study please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Commission on the Status of Women
10-21 March, New York City, United Nations Headquarters
The main theme for the session is: ”Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”
Jabu C. Pereira, Maria Fontenelle and Mathilda Piehl (reporting team)
Maria Fontenelle is the media and advocacy officer for United and Strong, the sole LGBTQI advocacy group in her island home of Saint Lucia (Caribbean). Maria brings more than fifteen years of media experience to LGBTI activism. She has also collaborated with local, regional and international partners on HIV AIDS and human rights.
Mathilda Piehl has ten years experience in reporting on LGBT issues from Sweden. She has been working at an international level in human rights and is currently editing soginews.com.
Jabu C. Pereira is the Executive Director of Iranti-org, an African-based LBTI human rights documentation and reporting organisation. Jabu has extensive experience in advocating on various human rights issues; in particular women’s rights and LBTI rights.
Please join us Thursday (tomorrow, March 13) at 5:30 for a conversation with Astraea and grantee partners Jabulani Pereira from Iranti-Org and Kenita Placide from United & Strong, followed by a chance to relax, eat and hangout with local activists and the community from 6:30 on. More info and RSVP...
Ugandan doctor, Paul Semugoma, offered
21 February 2014. Johannesburg
Dr. Paul Semugoma is a Ugandan medical doctor and prominent advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and communities.
On Monday 17 February 2014, while returning from a business trip in Zimbabwe, he was arrested and detained at O.R. Tambo International Airport. At that time, immigration officials informed Dr. Semugoma that his visa application had been unsuccessful and that he faced imminent deportation to Uganda. On Tuesday, 19 February, immigration officials presented a one-way ticket to Entebbe, Uganda for Dr. Semugoma, and tried to force him on the plane despite a court order by the South Gauteng High Court demanding his release.
On 20 February, Dr. Semugoma was released today when the South African Department of Home Affairs offered him an exceptional skills visa for three years.
Last week, my intersex good friend Sally Gross from South Africa passed away in her apartment. Sally Gross is a senior intersex activist and also the founder and director of Intersex South Africa. Read more...
May Sally Gross’ soul rest in eternal peace
by Kokeletso Legoete
18 February 2014, Johannesburg
“I am intersexed, born, like most of the people born with bodies which are such that intersexuality has a significant impact on their lives, with ambiguous genitalia...," said Sally Gross. Read more...
Africa by country - Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean Transgender Activist, Ricky Nathanson, is Acquitted
Zimbabwe, 5 February 2014
Ricky Nathanson is a self-identified transwoman, she is an energetic businesswoman and a fierce activist against all forms of injustice in Zimbabwe. In mid-January, while attending a meeting at a prominent hotel, a Zanu PF youth leader threatened Ricky and tried to extort money from her, claiming that he would have her arrested for “being somebody she is not.” Read more...
Ricky Nathanson (Board Member of Sexual Rights Centre) left, and Mojalifa Mokoele (Programme Manager at SRC) waiting for the case to be heard at the Bulawayo Magistrate Court.
Global Interfaith Network launched in SA
South Africa, 5 February 2014.
On the 22-26 January the Global Interfaith Network was launched in South Africa. Over 70 delegates from across the world gathered to dialogue on the intersections of religion, sexuality and gender identities. The committee comprises an amazing team of leaders representing a diverse range of regions and identities.
Iranti-org was a partner to the conference and we would like to share a synopsis of this important gathering with you. Please feel free to tweet and share this link widely.
2013 Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill
response from SMUG
"Beyond the usual challenges that any organization might face in raising money, trans* and intersex groups are particularly left adrift by the fact that few funders understand the nuances of their work or include trans* or intersex people in their giving priorities." Read more...
Binyavanga Wainaina speaks on the fear
27 January 2014. Binyavanga Wainaina speaks on the fear of imagination ~ Part 1: Bring Me The Obedient Children (1 of 6).
Binyavanga Wainaina's brilliant 6 part YouTube documentary calling out the BS behind “African” homophobia.
21 January 2014. Binyavanga Wainaina’s wonderful essay in six witty, moving, thoughtful, hilarious, essential, truthful parts - “We Must Free Our Imaginations", or as he called it on Twitter: @AfricasaCountry and Website: Africasacountry last night, “What I Have to Say About Being Gay”. There are too many highlights to quote all of them here (like the bit about “the politician” who promises to dig a well but chooses to fight lesbianism instead, and yes, he gets to Nigeria’s new homophobic law). Add your favorites to the comments. Share it widely, share it well.
President Museveni will Reject "Fascist" Anti-Gay Bill; Plans to Introduce New Legislation
Kampala, Uganda. 18 January 2014
A delegation from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) met with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni today at State House in Entebbe, Uganda, to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by Uganda's parliament on December 20, 2013. Last month Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote to the President to express their concern over the bill, requesting further discussion on the matter.
The delegation--comprised of Ms. Kennedy, Santiago A. Canton, Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights, and Wade McMullen, Staff Attorney for the RFK Center--expressed their grave concern over the legislation that would further criminalize homosexual conduct, censor freedom of expression, and ban civil society organizations working on LGBTI issues in Uganda. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who joined the conversation via telephone, similarly expressed his concern, stating that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was reminiscent of oppressive laws passed under apartheid in South Africa.
President Museveni pledged to reject the bill as currently drafted, calling the legislation "fascist." The President stated that he will consult with his party and plans to introduce a new piece of legislation aimed at protecting minors from being coerced into sexual activity.
The RFK Center reiterated that the government should focus on enforcing the Ugandan Penal Code provisions that already outlaw both opposite-sex and same-sex sexual abuse of minors. Should new legislation be introduced along the lines of the President's suggestion, the RFK Center strongly advised that any bill should only focus on strengthening current child protection measures, may not discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and must fully respect the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.
"I welcome President Museveni's decision to reject this hateful bill," said Archbishop Tutu. "It is time for our African brothers and sisters to move past the antiquated notion that someone could be a criminal for who they love."
In a March 2013 meeting at the President's personal residence in Rwakitura, President Museveni promised the RFK Center that he would not sign any bill that discriminates against any individual.
"I am pleased that President Museveni has upheld his promise to reject any piece of discriminatory legislation," said Ms. Kennedy. "While we are concerned with plans to move forward with a new bill, we urge the President to ensure it will not discriminate against LGBTI people nor imperil the legitimate work of human rights defenders in the country."
Iranti-Org honors the memory of LGBTI activists in South Africa, Africa and the World, who like Mandela stand up each day and fight against homophobia and transphobia. Long live the spirit and legacy of Nelson Mandela, Simon Nkoli, David Kato, Duduzile Zozo, Eudy Simelane, FannAnn Eddy, Thapelo Makhutle, Vuyisa ‘’Norizana’’Dayisi and many, many more...
We thank Bev Ditsie, Mrs Nkoli, Mrs Zozo, Emilia Potenza, Zethu Matebeni, Pregs Govender, Ayanda Magoloza and Nhlahlan Moremi, Pearl and Pride Kaygee Mashaba for sharing their honest reflections on the passing of Mandela and his lasting legacy on our lives.
Rest in Peace Madiba.
EVENT INVITE and IRANTI-ORG'S PRESENTATION
Invitation to the Annual Core Group
International Human Rights Day Event
New York City, 10 December 2013
Join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) at the United Nations headquarters in New York City next week. The theme, panel make-up, title of the event, and much else have been subject to the usual back-and-forth for these types of events. Feel free to voice your favorite shortcoming here--chances are we share your thoughts on many of them, whether you believe in the efficacy or usefulness of UN advocacy generally, this is an opportunity to celebrate the notion of universal rights, and to support our three colleagues on the panel: Tumi Mkhuma, Hida Viloria, and Anastasia Smirnova.
Others - NAVI PILLAY High Commissioner for Human Rights, MARTINA NAVRATILOVA Tennis Legend, JASON COLLINS NBA Basketball Player, ITUMELENG “TUMI” THANDEKA MKHUMA Human Rights Activist from South Africa, ANASTASIA SMIRNOVA Human Rights Activist from Russia, HIDA VILORIA Human Rights Activist from the USA
Malta, 1 December 2013
Between 29 November and 1 December 2013, the Third International Intersex Forum, supported by ILGA and ILGA-Europe, took place in Valletta, Malta. This event brought together 34 activists representing 30 intersex organisations from all continents. The statement starts with, "We affirm that intersex people are real, and we exist in all regions and all countries around the world. Thus, intersex people must be supported to be the drivers of social, political and legislative changes that concern them," and goes on to set some several demands. Download the statement to read the demands.
GALZ Chairperson summoned
Zimbabwe, 4 December 2013
GALZ Chairperson, Martha Tholanah summoned to appear In the Rotten Row Magistrate Court for running an 'unregistered' organisation, says Tonderai Bhatasara, member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Read the official GALZ Alert.
Rainbow Leadership Training in Sweden
Some of the attendees, Thabinky Maqhubela (CAL), Georgina Adhiambo (Nyawek), Leigh van der Merwe (S.H.E), Juliet Mphande (Friends of Rainka)
Sweden, 28 November 2013
In October 2013, an amazing group of LGBTI leaders from all over the globe were selected by RFSL Sweden. Jabu Pereira was one of the leaders selected for a three-week intensive course aimed at developing leaders that can effectively lead, fundraise and be a visionary for change. Each leader was recognised and awarded a certificate for completing the programme. The group developed a global solidarity statement. The Rainbow Leaders will re-unite in 2014 in Cape Town for the final session of the programme.
Light a candle for TDOR... join and support the international transgender community today in commemorating those who’ve lost their lives to ignorance and hate
Johannesburg, 20 November 2013
"This day brings to our attention that transphobia is evident in both public and private spaces, and that systemic transphobia and gender-motivated killings are on the increase. We call on all human rights groups, the government, and our communities to protect all persons against violent attacks based on their gender identities. We will continue to gather evidence that aims to report on these violations, and we will seek justice for the victims and survivors of transphobic attacks.” Jabu C. Pereira, Director of Iranti-org.
Compiled by Ayanda Msiza, documenting and media officer at Iranti-org.
The 15th remembrance and mourning
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an internationally recognised commemoration for the trans community which takes place on 20 November of each year. Today marks it’s 15th year, and today we remember and mourn the people we have lost through hate, intolerance and violence. TDOR is not a single event in a single location, but an event commemorated the world over – it is an event created to recognise and draw attention to the growing problem of violence and abuse towards trans people.
Transgender Europe initiated a Trans Murder monitoring project in January 2008. In the last 12 months, 238 killings of trans people we reported. Since 2008 the murders of 1,374 trans people have been documented, a number not entirely representative since many cases go unreported or unrecognised as transphobic motivated attacks.
Transphobia must stop, and trans people must be allowed to live their lives as human beings. Many people will have contact with trans people throughout the course of their lives without realising it. Sadly, people cling to outdated stereotypes of what it is, or means, to be trans.
Iranti-Org for the very first time is taking the initiative to work together with TDOR working groups to mourn and raise awareness of hate crimes against trans people. We are questioning our government to say: How many more people should die before they do something about these brutal killings of our brothers and sisters? For how long must we live in fear?
We urge everyone to light a candle on this day, set aside one minute of your precious time and remember those who have been laid to rest.
We have a page dedicated to the Transgender Day of Remebrance 2013,
click the More link below.
Iranti-org's LGBTI Media-Makers TrAIning Programme:
Shifting LGBTI Human Rights Reporting, Reporting Safely with Media Digital and “Analogue” Tools
Submission deadline: 25 November 2013 When: first week February 2014
This training programme is a pilot programme aimed at developing a more comprehensive training strategy for creating an LGBTI Africa Media and Documentation Network.
ARC International, a partner of Iranti-org, is an important organisation in the area of LGBTI documentation and lobbying at the UN level. ARC International's directors, Kim Vance and John Fisher, visited the Iranti-org team at their offices to view a presentation on human rights documentation and the SOGI Resolution (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity). Read more...
Breaking news ~ Uganda
Arrest of Samuel Ganafa for allegedly infecting
Disan Twesiga with HIV
15 November 2013, Uganda
Samuel Ganafa, The Executive Director of Spectrum Uganda Initiatives and Board Chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was arrested on 12 November 2013. Three of his houseguests were also arrested, Joseph Kayizi, Kasali Brian and Michael Katongole and his nephew, Brian Kasirye. Disan Twesiga alleges that Samuel Ganafa knowingly infected him with HIV. Read the full statement by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Spectrum Uganda and the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law.
Africa by country ~ Zamiba
State of LGBTI Rights in Zambia
13 November 2013, Zambia
Iranti-org met with Juliet Mphande, the Director of Friends of RAINKA, an LGBTI human rights organisation based in Lusaka, Zambia. Jabu C. Pereira, the Director of Iranti-org, asked Juliet about the current threats facing LGBTI activists in Zambia. In October a homophobic blog in Zambia reported that LGBTI activists were in Sweden, soliticing money for the promotion of homosexuality. This was factually incorrect and clearly aimed at getting the activists arrested under the Zambian penal code.
Over the months we witnessed the increased arrests of LGBTI activists, including Paul Kasonkomona who was charged under section 178(g) of the Zambian Penal Code which provides that “every person who in any public place solicits for immoral purposes” is deemed an idle and disorderly person, and liable to imprisonment for one month or a fine.
We urge you to support and highlight the struggles in Zambia, and help work towards a decriminalised state where the recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity is recognised as a human right.
GALLERIES and Events
Pride galleries and events from around South Africa
12 November 2013, South Africa
Over the past year, South Africa's LGBTI landscape has seen an increasing number of Pride celebrations, from rural towns in Mafikeng to urban centres like Joburg. In addition, this year Pretoria held its first Pride. The Prides reflect the context we embrace on a daily basis in South Africa. Racial inequalities, class struggles, women-centred agendas and LGBTI-focused agendas, in priviledged suburbs and poor neighbourhoods. No surprise that in 2013, in Johannesburg, the schism created by these issues was revealed in the Joburg People's Pride and the Joburg Sandton Pride events.
6 November 2013 Zambia, Times of Zambia: The derailment of effective strides taken against HIV in Zambia is likely unless we can remove the stigma on men having sex with men, says first lady, Christine Kaseba.
31 October 2013 Zambia, Civicus. More than 100 groups call on Zambian President to halt NGO law that gives government officials too much discretion to interfere with their independence and activities and breaches international best-practice frameworks.
6 October 2013 Zambia, SALC Bloggers: The October arrest of Zambian human rights activist, Paul Kasonkomona, in terms of the Zambian Penal Code (every person who in any public place solicits for immoral purposes, is deemed an idle and disorderly person and liable to imprisonment for one month or a fine). The unnamed arresting detective had seen little of a TV program on which Kasonkomona appeared pleading for decriminalization of same-sex sex practices in the interests of HIV prevention. Nonetheless the detective concluded that Kasonkomona statement that it is not wrong to be homosexual, amounted to soliciting for immoral purposes.
6 September 2013 Zambia, SALC Bloggers: The May arrest of two Zambians charged in terms of the Zamibian Penal Code (that those having carnal knowledge of each other against the order of nature should be imprisoned between fifteen years and life imprisonment) has led to ongoing harassment by fellow inmates at the remand facility and little viable evidence being led by the Zambian State judicial body.
EVENTS ~ exhibition
Critically Queer exhibition at FADA Gallery
Johannesburg, 10-17 September 2013
Critically Queer challenged and explored, through visual arts and documentary forms, ways in which sexuality and gender don't conform to traditional norms, and the abuse faced by those non-conforming. The exhibition formsed a part of a larger festival at the University of Johannesburg called, THATSOGAY.
EVENTS ~ Pride
Mafikeng, 14 September 2013
Mafikeng Pride took place on 14 September 2013 at the North West University. Mafikeng was a former homeland under apartheid, and has broken the shackles of oppression by organising LGBTIQ students on the campus and in the surrounding community. Kokeletso Legoete and Tumi Mkhuma from Iranti-org attended the festivities. Iranti-org is committed to building social movements and LGBTIQ visibility especially in rural communities.
Documentation by Kokeletso Legoete and Tumi Mkhuma from Iranti-org.
Navi Pillay - Highlights from First-Ever Ministerial Meeting on LGBT Rights at the UN
United Nations, 26 September 2013
Leaders from the UN's core group of countries working to end violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people met in New York for the first-ever ministerial meeting at the UN on LGBT rights. Here, Free & Equal -- the unprecedented UN public information campaign for LGBT equality -- captures strong statements by several attendees.
Jack "Judith" Halberstam "No Church in the Wild: Anarchy and Gaga Feminism" at HUMA UCT
Cape Town, 19 August 2013
Prof Jack Halberstam was a guest at HUMA and the English Dept at UCT. Jack presented on 19th August, their work focused on the published works on Gaga Feminism, Female Masculinity and The Art of Failure.
CALL TO ACTION! PEOPLE'S PRIDE
JOBURG PEOPLE'S PRIDE
5 October 2013,Johannesburg.
We will be taking to the streets of Johannesburg on 5 October, reclaiming our pride and demanding Freedom and Justice for all. For the first ever Johannesburg People's Pride March.
Sunila Abeysekera, Human Rights Activist in Sri Lanka, Dies at 61
13 September 2013
Sri Lanka. Sunila Abeysekera, a prominent human rights advocate who sought to bring the world’s attention to myriad acts of violence in her country, Sri Lanka, despite threats against her own life, died of cancer on Monday in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. She was 61.
Her death was announced by Human Rights Watch. Until recently she had lived in the Netherlands because of the latest round of threats against her. Abeysekera, a single mother and a lesbian, was also a champion of women’s rights throughout South Asia, working for reproductive rights and economic parity and to end violence against women. Read more at New York Times...
Pic by Patricia Williams, Article by Margalit Fox for New York Times
EVENTS ~ EXHIBITION 10-17 September 2013
“Critically Queer” celebrates sexuality, gender identity in Africa
Johannesburg, 10-17 September 2013
“CRITICALLY QUEER” is an exhibition coordinated by Iranti-org, a Lesbian, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming human rights and visual media organization. This exhibition challenges and explores through visual arts and documentary forms, ways in which sexuality and gender don't conform to traditional norms, and the abuse faced by those non-conforming. This exhibition forms part of a larger festival at the University of Johannesburg called, THATSOGAY. Read more...
Germany to become first European state to allow
‘third gender’ birth certificates
Germany, 17 August 2013
German parents will no longer be legally obliged to register their newborn child as male or female, and will instead be officially allowed to assign the baby a “third gender” if the sex cannot be clearly identified at birth. The new law will come into force on November 1. Read more...
Breaking news ~ HISTORICAL moment in uganda
Historic Ruling Confirms LGBTI Rights as Internationally Recognized
United States, 14 August 2013
Springfield, MA – Today, in a first-of-its kind case brought by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization against a prominent U.S. anti-gay extremist, a federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law. The ruling means that the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBTI rights and advocacy groups, can move forward over defendant Scott Lively’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. Read more...
EVENTS ~ UPCOMING EVENTS
WORKSHOP with Dr Jian Chen
Johannesburg, 8 August 2013
Media Innovations for Queer and Transgender Social Change Approaches with Dr Jian Chen. Iranti-org will host Dr Jian Chen, an assistant Professor of English from the Ohio State University. They/He is an independent curator, a media and art activist. Chen’s work explores the technological and social conditions that shape today’s Transgender, Queer, and gender non-conforming media; Highlighting strategies used in transnational, diasporic, and inter-racial American media work. Check out the trailer for The New Black. Read the invite before you download the invite and programme and share it widely!
Queering Gaga Feminism
Cape Town, 19 August 2013
Dr Jack “Judith” Halberstams’ theory workshop “No Church in the Wild: Anarchy and Gaga Feminism” hosted by the LGBTI Program at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) at the University of Cape Town. Iranti-org will be attending. HUMA through the direction of Dr Zethu Matebeni has led innovative seminars on Queer Theory, Sexuality and Gender Identities. Iranti-org’s team is keen to learn more about Gaga Feminism, Queerness and its relation to sexual and gender variant identities in South Africa. Download the full invite, read all about the event and share...
BREAKING NEWS ~ United Nations announcement
UNITE to end violence against women - United nations
Global, 22 July 2013
Voices of Survivors’ tells the stories of survivors of violence against women in their own words. They speak of the impact violence had upon them, and how they have found the resources to move forward in their lives. Their stories remind us why taking a stand to prevent violence against women and girls is critical. More on the UN website.
Rape and murder of Duduzile Zozo, 30 June
South Africa, 7 July 2013
Duduzile Zozo was 26 years old. She lived in Tokoza, east of Johannesburg. Her body was found on 30 June 2013 in her neighbour's yard, her pants was pulled down to her ankles, a toilet brush was forced into her vagina. She was beaten with a concrete brick and clearly suffered as she died. Read our plea for action. Below is a media file we prepared to give context to the situation.
Patricia Mashigo murdered, still no investigation
South Africa, 26 June 2013
Iranti-org is documenting the death of Patricia Mashigo, a lesbian mother murdered on 21 April 2013 in Daveyton, Johannesburg. The SA Police Services have not yet investigated the case. Instead, the police had stopped Iranti-org from documenting the case and created bureaucratic obstacles.
We are working with the LGBTI community in Daveyton. We are are holding community workshops on media advocacy training and ways of documenting violence. Produced by the Iranti-org staff, Jabu Pereira, Kelebogile Nltadi, Selogadi Mampane, Zikhona Gqozo and Ayanda Msiza. See complete story...
If you have any thoughts or views on how we can take our advocacy further we would love to hear from you.
IDAHOT: Free to our express our sexual and gender identity
Johannesburg, 17 May 2014
by Gugu Mandla and Jabu Pereira
Director of Iranti-org, Jabu Pereira,
goes in-depth about IDAHOT.
Photo by: Lebo Ntladi
Iranti-org in partnership with several LGBTI organisations such Transgender Intersex Africa (TIA), Vutha LGBTI in the Vaal region and Uthingo-Daveyton, were hosted by Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Constitution Hill’s Public Programme Officer and author of Black Bull, Ancestors and Me was the perfect partner as he provided the best site of conscience for hosting IDAHOT. It was held at the Old Fort Prison, where anti-apartheid activists were detained for their activism.
On the 17 May 2014, The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) is being held in more than 120 countries around the world, Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) joins many other organisations in the country in commemorating the day. The day seeks to raise awareness on the continuous homophobia and transphobia against LGBTI individuals by communities, states and service providers. On the day we will pay homage to those who lost their lives to hate crimes, injustice, rejection, exclusion and discrimination and raise awareness on LGBTI rights. The IDAHOT 2014 global theme is “freedom of expression”.
I'm so glad to hear the workshop went well and that it brought good resources to the participants. I really look forward to collaborating again in future trainings. I'm hoping to be able to lead the Septemeber RFSL media training and build off of your work last week.
We just launched the video with you on our site.
Everyone is thrilled with it and I am very grateful that you could share Iranti-Org's perspective and story as part of this launch video.
GALZ press statement on Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa's remarks
31 March 2014, Zimbabwe
Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s statements as reported in the Sunday Mail,
30 March 2014 perpetuate hate and wrong perceptions about LGBTI people. Manipulating the authority of the church tofight political battles is the most blatant sin and that he prays for a day when the question of one’s sexuality will become irrelevant and discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people will be relegated to the same heap containing slavery, racism (including anti-Semitism), sexism and discrimination against socially marginalized groups and people. Read the complete press statement about Makandiwa's remarks by Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ).
Statement for General Discussion on behalf of the Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus
23 March 2014, New York
#CSW58 ~ statement by 76 organizations about the status of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and others with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities status. Download the full CSW58 statement.
africa by country: botswana
Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana
(LEGABIBO) demands that their rights be protected
17 March 2014
LEGABIBO members designing placards in preparation for the court case.
Photo by Gugu Mandla
Botswana. The LEGABIBO organization demands to be registered as an association group and not a group that promotes homosexuality or same-sex relationships. On 12 March 2012, their registration application was rejected by the Director of the Department of Civil and National Registration of Botswana. Read more...
event: Sex Work is Work
Sex Work is Work
New York City, 19 March 2014
19 March 2014, 14:30-16:00, Boss Room, Church Centre United Nations #CCUN, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York City
Sponsors: American Jewish World Service, Urgent Action Fund, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Mama Cash, Open Society Foundations and Red Umbrella Fund. Download invite to Sex Work is Work event at United Nations Plaza.
DON'T BE SILENCED EXHIBITION
The Gay and Lesbian Network is hosting a hate crimes exhibition “don’t be silenced”
Pietermaritzburg, 20 February 2014
The Gay and Lesbian Network is hosting a hate crimes exhibition which is taking place from 7 February - 7 March 2014 at the KwaZulu Natal Museum, 237 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg. The purpose of the exhibition is to provide a space to educate and create awareness about hate crimes. The exhibition would also encourage individuals and communities to take the initiative to report such incidents should they experience or witness it.
The exhibition comprises panels of personal stories and testimonies, photographs, campaign posters, videos, fact sheets and a hate crime resource booklet. There will also be a number of events which would be part of the exhibition and includes:
Hate crime against lesbians: Reclaiming the L-Word
Dr Alleyn Diesel editor of Reclaiming the L-Word
Dr Heidi van Rooyen
Kokeletso Legoete - Media and Advocacy Coordinator from Iranti-org
Poetry by Londeka Ngubane Date: 27 February @ 10am Venue: KZN Museum, Pringle Hall, 237 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg
Interfaith discussion of religion and sexuality, from a Muslim and Christian perspective. Guests include:
Imam Mushin Henricks from The Inner Circle, Cape Town
Professor Gerald West from University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Date: 3 March @ 10am Venue: KZN Museum, Ingede Hall, 237 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg
Uganda President Museveni will likely sign
Boston, 28 January 2014
Dr Kapya Kaoma writes about the Anti-Homosexuality Law (previously known as “Kill the Gays” bill), that the version passed in December had eliminated the death penalty but maintained a punishment of life imprisonment for “aggravated” homosexuality—namely, having sex with a person who is under 18 years old or disabled, or instances in which the “offender” is HIV positive. The penalty also holds for “serial offenders”— people who have been previously convicted for the crime of homosexuality. Kaoma goes on to highlight the issues and suggest that Museveni is hedging and trying to please too many people. Read more...
Binyavanga Wainaina, Kenyan author, journalist and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. His first book was a response to anti-gay laws passed in Africa. He has been given the Young Global Leader award, that is given to people who have the potential to contributing to changing the world. He has written for many publications around the world, lectured and indulged his love of food collecting 13 000 recipes and becoming an expert on African cuisine. Read more about Wainaina.
How to Write About Africa
Kenya, 27 January 2014
Binyavanga Wainaina writes about the mistakes everyone makes when writing about Africa. Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans. Read more...
I am a homosexual, Mum
Kenya, 27 January 2014
Binyavanga Wainaina writes about coming out to his mother. 'Nobody, nobody, ever in my life has heard this. Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a shoulder, into her ear.
"We would like to first of all thank the Ministry of Social Justice Empowerment for taking up the issue of trans people in the country. We would also like to appreciate the steps taken by the ministry to address the concerns of our trans communities." Read more...
"We condemn the arrest of Ricky Nathanson, a transgender person, who remained in police custody for two days. The premise of the arrest was that Ricky had used the ‘Ladies’ toilet. Can it possibly be justified to arrest someone for such a reason under the new Constitution when no offence exists and when no harm occurred?" Read more...
American Scott Lively accused of crimes against humanity by Sexual Minorities Uganda
“I urge our leaders to draw from the lessons of the past, but also to heed current realities. And to look ahead to what the future is calling forth – because this new development agenda will affect the lives of millions of our people at a very critical time for Africa.
I encourage leaders to take a strong stand for fundamental human rights, and advance the trajectory for basic freedoms.
This means pushing for three priorities that lie at the heart of sustainable development: the empowerment of women and gender equality; the rights and empowerment of adolescents and youth; and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people."
“Even before this Act was signed into law, consensual same sex relationships were already criminalized in Nigeria – violating rights to privacy and to freedom from discrimination, both of which are protected by the Nigerian Constitution, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Nigeria has ratified,” the High Commissioner said.
Mandela leaves SA with Freedom in our hands and India dishonors LGBTI Rights
South Africa, 11 December 2013
Jabu Pereira, human rights activist, calls India out on their shameful recriminalization of homosexuality as Mandela lies in state in South Africa. Shame falls on the India Supreme Court on international human rights day. As the grey skies covered Joburg and the rain fell over the city we mourned the loss of a great human leader and as India’s President paid his respects to Nelson Mandela, its Supreme Court just re-criminalized same-sex relationships. Read more...
arc Newsletter Nov 2013
Pan-African ILGA (PAI) meeting and Iranti-org workshop
South Africa, 28 November 2013
In November ARC was invited by Pan-African ILGA to join part of their meeting in South Africa to co-facilitate a session with ILGA on the development and history of SOGI issues at the UN, along with providing a progress report and contributing to a group discussion on the SOGI resolution.
While in Johannesburg, ARC was also happy in engage in a session of sharing and learning with the documentation team at Iranti-Org. Exciting opportunities for future collaboration were discussed... stay tuned!
Cape Town, 27 November 2013
In 2011 Andile Ngcoza raped Millicent Gaika, a lesbian, to force her to have a baby so that she would recognise her role as a woman. Ngcoza showed no remorse in court and has a slew of previous convictions, including rape and anal rape. Free Gender, a lesbian advocacy group, supported Gaika throughout the trial.
Read more at the Cape Times.
EVENTS ~ 16 DAys of activism
GATE Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
South Africa, 26 November 2013
GATE joins today a new commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
We note with deep concern and rejection that trans* women continue to be, one of the most constant but invisible targets of gendered violence that strikes with particular virulence, especially against trans* sex workers, trans* women in prison or other detention facilities, trans* women of color, trans* women in areas of armed conflict, occupation or natural disasters, trans* women from indigenous populations, refugees and migrants, trans* women with HIV and human rights defenders.
Opinion ~ Neo Musangi
Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013, Nairobi
Kenya, 26 November 2013
Neo Musangi writes on the Transgender Day of Remembrance activities in Nairobi. "The speech from Njugush starts with an exercise on acceptance and acts of love. Njugush, is a transman in his forties, a board member at TEA and a member of the Intersex, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming group, Jinsiangu. Njugush asks all trans persons at this meeting to stand up, followed by the accompanying family members. He then asks the family members to walk up to their trans child, brother, sister, niece, nephew or cousin, hug them and acknowledge them for opening up regarding their transgender identities." Read more....
Zambia. Juliet Mphande, the Director of Friends of RAINKA, an LGBTI human rights organisation based in Lusaka, Zambia. Juliet sits on various human rights and corporate policy making bodies notably: The Global forum for Civil Society through the US Embassy, the Bi-lateral initiative on Human Rights and the African Association of Communication Directors to mention but a few. Mphande blogs and is a human rights, environment, media and peace advocate. Read more...
Chalwe Charles Mwansa
Zambia. Chalwe Charles Mwansa holds a law degree from the Zambia Open University and has sound knowledge of human rights which he uses to develop and implement advocacy and training programs for the LGBT advocacy organization, Friends of RAINKA, where he works as the Advocacy and Policy Officer. Read more...
Rainbow Leaders workshop in Sweden
Growing Global LGBTI Leaders with Introspection and Hard Work
Many a times in LGBTI movements we become so “accustomed” to the training and workshops provided by different stakeholders, that sometimes we fail to take the privileges and opportunities provided through these sessions seriously.
"Mr O" as he is affectionately known to many who love and appreciate his sense of humor, character and work ethic. Mr O identifies 100% as city boy having been born in the center of the capital city of Botswana, Gaborone. Read more...
EVENT ~ Film Festival
20th Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2013
18-27 October 2013
We are back - the 20th Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival’s 2013 final edition takes place in Johannesburg at Nu Metro Hyde Park and in Cape Townat both Nu Metro and Cinema Nouveau V&AC Waterfront from 18-27 October. For film trailers, workshops and all other info, check out our website on www.oia.co.za. Bookings will open on Monday, 30 September.
OIA will be opened in Jozi on Wednesday 16 October by Justice Edwin Cameron. The Opening Night speaker in CT, on Thursday 17 October, is still to be confirmed.
Read more about the festival and the live performances...
About Chelsea Manning
United States, Aug 2013
Janet Mock and Scott Long weigh in on the broader context of Chelsea Manning coming out as Trans. Read more...
Opinion ~ Neo Musangi
Audrey Mbugua is not new to gender identity controversies
Kenya, 1 July 2013
Neo Musangi speaks about Audrey Mbugua. Audrey Mbugua is not new to gender identity controversies and the corridors of justice. She has been in the Kenyan news for a while now. A few years back she was suing the then Minister for Health, Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o because the biggest government hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital denied her request for gender re-assignment surgery. No one would do it. It was not right, they argued. The doctors hands were tied, as they say. Tied by what/who exactly? Please ask me another. I do not know. Audrey, being Audrey, is back. With more viciousness. She is more annoying now. Read more...
Sham package for Intersex: Leaving sex entry open is not an option
Germany, 15 February 2013
On its website, the German Bundestag proclaims: “In the future it will be possible to leave the gender specification in the birth registry open for children who are born without a clear gender.”
What we need is an end to the externally determined gender assignment, the practice of sexed standardization and mutilation, as well as medical authority of definition on sex.
GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality and American Jewish World Service are inviting all trans* and intersex groups, projects and organizations to participate in a survey on funding situation for trans* and intersex groups around the world.
South Africa. Zethu Matebeni holds a PhD, started at Yale University and finalized as a PhD fellow at Wizer (Witwatersrand Institute for Social and Economic Research). Read more...
Opinion ~ Satya Rai Nagpaul
Letter to Angelina Jolie
India, 2 June 2013
Satya Rai Nagpaul thanks Angelina Jolie for coming out, "I mean about your mastectomy. You have no idea what this can mean for a transman like me who went through the exact same procedure as yours; well almost!" Read more...
MOST READ STORY
Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora condemns signing of the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill
Nigeria, 29 January 2014
Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti-Same Sex Laws feels it is a shame that President Goodluck Jonathan appended his signature to such a draconian, irresponsible and undemocratic bill, thereby criminalizing an innocent section of Nigerian populace. It is unfortunate that a supposedly democratic nation would actively seek to criminalize a section of its population whom has not caused harm to anyone. Read more...
event: IDAHOT 2014
Press Release: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2014 Commemorations in Botswana
Botswana, 22 May 2014
by Onkokame Ratanang-Mosweu, LGBTI Health and Human Rights Programme Coordinator, LEGABIBO
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) is commemorated globally and annually on the 17th of May. This year’s commemorations are celebrated under the theme “Freedom to Express”. The day is set aside to raise awareness on LGBTIQ issues and rights, to create a platform for dialogue on lives of LGBTIQ and how homophobia and transphobia affects the lives of the LGBTIQ. IDAHOT also aims to celebrate the struggles and milestones LGBTIQ individuals and human rights organizations have had over the years in making human rights agenda priority. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity remains issues of contention and division tools in many countries. Today The Botswana Network On Ethics, Law and HIV/ AIDS (BONELA), Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) and Rainbow Identity Association (RIA) wishes to highlight political, social, economic and structural barriers facing the LGBTIQs in Botswana and worldwide.
Botswana is considered by many to be a conservative and Christian state. This has however hindered a lot of human rights advancements including sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Homophobic and transphobic attacks happen in Botswana.
The Penal Code of Botswana and other governing laws and policies make it difficult for LGBTIQs to express themselves in the way they feel. Attacks on the LGBTIQs and LEGABIBO continue to spring from various members of this community. Most of the homophobia seem to be based on religious believes.
IDAHOT 2014 activities aim to address issues of Homophobia and Transphobia in Botswana, giving the LGBTI the platform to talk about issues and problems they face daily with the hope to create a conducive and enabling environment to dialogue with the relevant stakeholders and the public at large.
The three organisations and their partners will be commemorating IDAHOT through various activities spread through three days. Day one of the commemorations will start with a press conference and followed by a panel discussion under the theme “ Is Botswana a Homo-transphobic Country, Perspective from affected communities).
The second day will be a night of spoken word against Homophobia and Transphobia on the 16th of May (from 1800hrs) at Thapong Arts Centre (opposite Village Clinic) at Village, Gaborone. It is at this space that the LGBTIQs will express themselves artistically through poem recitals, song, dance and storytelling. The last day will be celebrated by having a power march from Game City Supermall to Kgale Hill at 0800am. Once at the hill, a candlelight vigil will be conducted and multi-lingual prayers will be recited by different attendants. The festivities will continue from 1400hrs with an Expression show held at Somarelo Tikologo Ecological Park.
These three partners strongly believe that human rights are innate and are not selective. Every member of our community is entitled to a dignified and respected existence on this earth. LGBTIQs are not outcast of those rights and should be treated as such.
BONELA, LEGABIBO & Rainbow Identity Association calls upon all Civil Society Organisations, Non- Governmental Organisations, the government and the entire republic of Botswana to join forces in advocating for equality, non- discrimination at health settings and access to prevention, treatment, care and support of all regardless of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Most importantly, we are all asked to stand up against injustices. “Fatshe leno la rona”, a re tsheleng ka kagiso.
Ricky Nathanson speaks about the treatment she received at the hands of Bulawayo police
17 February 2014
South Africa, Johannesburg
About the podcaster
Jabu Pereira, founder and director of Iranti-org, was born in Port Elizabeth South Africa. Jabu now resides in Johannesburg and is a photographer, videographer, curator, researcher, activist and a leader in human rights.
A response to Nigeria's Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Nigeria, 22 January 2014. Recently, president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a ban on same-sex marriage, even as another bill, which many Nigerians believe would curb corrupt practices in the oil and gas industry, suffered setback after setback in the Parliament. The result: Nothing has been done to end corruption involving the single most important source of funds for the Nigerian government, but horror stories of gay-bashing by law enforcement officers have already become rife. Read more at the New York Times - Blindness at the Top by Victor Ehikhamenor
The minister of women affairs and the clash with civil society ~ death of Duduzile Zozo
25 September 2013
South Africa, Johannesburg
About the podcaster
Selogadi Mampane describes herself as an activist who utilises inter-disciplinary arts mediums to explore social issues.
Contextual issues to attacks on lesbians on the East Rand of Johannesburg ~ death of Duduzile Zozo
25 September 2013
South Africa, Johannesburg
About the podcaster
Kelebogile Ntladi works in the realm of fine art, social documentary and portrait photography.
Opinion ~ Neo Musangi
Westgate Mall attacks
Kenya, 25 September 2013
I am still in pain regarding the Westgate Mall attacks. Yesterday I almost couldn't breathe. Today I am anxious. Very anxious. The pain has become almost tangible. It is all over. By the time I got news of Kofi Awoonor's death, I was already tweeting in verse. These are my tweets now compiled into a short poem. This is for you Prof. Awoonor and all the souls that have crossed over to the other side in these attacks. May the ancestors hug you all in the right places! Read more about Neo Musangi's thoughts about the Westgate Mall attacks....