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Theme: “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing”





Posted: 17 May 2021

17 May is marked as International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia and was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. This impactful initiative was first created in 2004 to bring attention to the ongoing violence towards the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex persons (LGBTQI+ persons).   Every year, policy makers, opinion leaders, the media and the general public are challenged to address the urgent need to combat violence and discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons and to build inclusive societies, enriched through their diversity. This Day has also become a global occasion to educate about LGBTQI+ persons, and to advocate for sensible public policies regarding them, internationally.

This year's theme, “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!” was chosen due to the recent challenges that the world has faced this past year.  Given everything that is currently happening in the country, as COVID-19 continues to have wide-reaching impacts across the globe, it is important to understand the differentiated impact the pandemic has had on the most marginalized groups. This pandemic has exposed deep inequalities that demand a more inclusive approach to ensure no one is left behind, including sexual and gender minorities. According to the Day Against Homophobia Organisation, it is estimated that 70% of the world's population live under laws and regulations that limit freedom of expression around sexual orientation and gender identity.

Breaking the silence is key to ending the stigma, phobia and discrimination that LGBTIQ+ people experience in many societies. It is essential to ensure that LGBTIQ+ people can live full and open lives within strong families and communities where their rights are fully protected and access to services guaranteed.  LGBTIQ+ people routinely face barriers to access to support services, especially in places where their identities are criminalized or targeted, and are often refused essential treatment or experience abuse. 

The SALGA Women’s Commission joins the world in commemorating the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and in its quest to combat acts of homophobia and transphobia that are being perpetrated against the LGBTQI+ persons.  The SWC and Access Chapter 2 (AC2) have embarked in a number of engagements to explore possible partnerships and paving ways to create opportunities and platforms for municipalities in ensuring that the rights of LGBTQI+ persons are protected and promoted. The following have been identified as potential areas of collaboration: dialogues at provincial level, sensitization training and campaigns,  mobilizing and lobbying for shelters for the LGBTQI+ persons as centers of inclusivity and development of a Municipal Guide on serving LGBTQI Persons.

The SWC urgently calls on communities and governments around the world to stand up for LGBTIQ+ rights. Let us support and remember those who were killed, persecuted and stigmatized as a result of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
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