17 May is observed annually as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). The aim of the day is to coordinate events that draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.
To commemorate IDAHOBIT 2022, CIVICUS, Accountable Now, Success Capital Organisation, LGBT+ Rights Ghana + partners hosted a webinar with LGBTI rights activists in Africa to raise awareness about the situation of LGBTI+ rights defenders and their various advocacy efforts.
IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to celebrate the success of the past year but also reflect on the deep challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ in an increasingly challenging and complex landscape for activists, organisations, and communities alike.
The IDAHOBIT theme for this 2022 is “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights” – highlighting the various micro-aggressions, policing and violations queer folks suffer as a result of their sexualities, gender identity and/or sex characteristics. Many forms of advocacy are possible under this theme including work around ensuring enabling space ( virtual, legal, physical) for LGBTI+ communities and defenders to claim their rights to live their sexualities fully and to express their gender(s) freely, but also demanding to be from physical violence, from conversion so-called “therapies”, and forced sterilisation of Trans and Intersex people.
The speakers covered the following topics:
(He/Him/His) Alex Kofi Donkor is a Human Rights Advocate and an LGBTQ activist. He is the founder and current director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, a movement of mostly young Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Intersex, Queers and Allies championing a safe, inclusive and free society for LGBT+ persons in Ghana.
(She/They) Liberty Matthyse is the former Legal, Policy and Education Advocacy Officer of Gender DynamiX, joining the team as Executive Director on 1 February 2018. Identifying as a trans non-binary person, she/they is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and holds a Master’s Degree in Law (cum laude) focused on non-discrimination and marriage equality for transgender persons (University of the Western Cape). Liberty also holds qualifications in Project Management, Leadership, Financial Management and Strategic Business Management (University of Cape Town). She/They can be defined as a community-centred, critical-thought, human rights and social justice activist whose passion in fighting for dignity, equality and freedom for trans and gender diverse persons drives their/her dedication to achieving positive change. In her/their spare time she/they enjoys hiking outdoors, reading and writing, exercising and spending time with loved ones, particularly in their/her hometown of Darling.
(They/Them) Matthew ‘Blaise’ Nwozaku is a non-binary, openly gay activist in Nigeria. They’ve dedicated their life and work to confronting the violence towards gender non-conforming persons & Queer people in Nigeria by creating safe spaces for the LGBTQI+ community, advocating for Queer rights through online and in-person events, and mobilizing actions. They are the co-founder of The Oasis Project, a community-led LGBTQ+ organization in Nigeria; the mission of the project is to create safe spaces, foster discussion and strategy, to mobilize members in direct action, and to create greater awareness among Nigerians and Africans of the abundance and diversity of its LGBTQ+ community. Their work, and the work of The Oasis Project, has brought much needed visibility to the plight of queer Africans.
(They/Them) Wiem Askri (Weema) is a non-binary queer activist from Tunisia, they joined Mawjoudin as the general coordinator for Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival in its third edition in 2019, and then started working as a project officer for the project queer refugees in Tunisia. The project is for queer immigrants, migrants, refugees and queer asylum in Tunisia. Weema has also worked with CAL (Coalition of African Lesbian) on a research entitled “Wellness and wellbeing of feminists activists in Tunisia”, and is currently helping in the coordination of the project POwer Up in Tunisia with CAL as well.
(They/Them/Their) Dumi is a proudly Pan African, unequivocally non-binary queer feminist working on eliminating the barriers between grassroots experiences and global policymaking. Dumi is Founder of Success Capital Organisation a queer, youth, migrant, ethnic minority, feminist-led, managed and serving grassroots organisation challenging power, privilege and patriarchy impeding decolonial, climate, health, gender, and socioeconomic justice. Dumi is a facilitator of the #ShiftThePower UK Funders Collective, critical friend of the CIVICUS World Alliance Resourcing workstream, a standing international member representative of Amnesty International and a board member of Accountable Now and Gender DynamiX, along with an advisory council member of Youth Excel.
Share this webinar!