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A workshoop about sexuality and social justice

sábado 27 de janeiro de 2007, por ,

The LGBTI activist presented a workshop on Sexuality and Social Justice which included Fikile Vilakazi of the Coalition of Africa Lesbians (CAL), Wendy Landau of Behind the Mask, Bridge from the UK and Manohar from Sangama in Bangalore in India.

The focus of the workshop was sexual rights and social justice. The concept of sexual rights is a different way of talking about sexual issues in which an integrated approach to sexuality must include women broadly because they made be denied their sexual rights in various ways.

The concept is to move away from identity politics to one of integration of sexual minorities such as , sex workers, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and also breaking these down into class and gender.

The approach is a new and radical one which moves to incorporate all minorities and to make alliances with as many oppressed groups across a broad spectrum of the communities in which we live.

Fikile Vilakazi is the director of the Coalition of Africa Lesbians (CAL) which covers 12 countries including, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania.

The CAL run a number of programmes for lesbians across Africa including a Creative Expression project to help lesbians come out through writing, discussions, poetry and art.

The main issues facing the lesbian community in Africa is that even in countries like South Africa where lesbian rights are enshrined in the constitution, society itself is still very homophobic which puts them at risk of hate crimes including rape, beatings, and even murder.

The recent Civil Union / Same Sex Marriage Bill passed by the South Africa parliament is not the primary concern of the LGBTI community in South Africa. Rather women are concerned over the curative hate crimes, and the homophobia in society.

Despite the fact the lesbians are legally able to adopt children people still ask how can lesbians be parents in South Africa? There is also the issue of fundamentalist religions, Christians, Muslims and Hindus .

The legalising of of same sex marriage in South Africa has had repercussions in various African countries such as Nigeria and Uganda which have been extremely negative in their response and have used the South Africa decriminalisation to enforce even more draconian punishments of homosexuality in their countries.

On a postive note the response by these governments has been that there is now an active dialogue in Africa around LGBTI issues and more and more of the LGBTI community are coming out and challenging their respective governments and religious institutions on the issue of sexuality and human rights.

Manohar of Sangama spoke eloquently about the innovative movement to bring together different sexual minorities across class and caste divisions in India.

Ver online : Pambazuka