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Enabling Spaces

Updated: Feb 10



Identities, groups, and references first such as heterosexual/straight, white/Caucasian, cisgender followed by historically lesser valued cultural identities, groups, and references which is anything other than the accepted dominant culture have always faced a form of discernment. To varying degrees, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people share a common experience of being outside dominant sex and gender norms and rigid stereotypes about what it means to be ‘a real woman’ or ‘a real man’. In many societies, a person’s physical sex characteristics are assumed to dictate that individual’s gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

These norms also create rigid stereotypes about how women and men should behave. They perpetuate gender inequalities. Infact, such leaves out the possibility of other genders to be recognized. When these distinctions define heterosexuality as superior (heteronormativity), they contribute to the marginalization of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Similarly, transgender people are vulnerable to stigmatization when social norms dictate that someone’s gender identity should match their sex assigned at birth (cisnormativity). Additionally, a stereotype, including medical norms, about what constitutes a female or a male body are also used to justify medically unnecessary surgeries and other interventions on intersex people.

The Expansion of spaces by bringing in various groups, identities and sexualities will help to lead a larger dialogue on the vulnerabilities of LGBTIA+ groups. Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in relation to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics is paramount in ensuring that gender parity is achieved in society. The gathering serves to provide patrons with knowledge of the law, how it affects them a review of a legal strategy (highlighting the legal stand point) etc. This will enable the LGBTIQA+ community to be capacitated on the law, therefore provide a sense of empowerment and manner to defend themselves in their micro-communities.

Objectives

· Review the social, political and legal context in Eswatini for LGBTI human rights advocacy, and how it impacts health care service delivery;

· Provide a platform to allow for deliberations particularly on the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act, the constitutional common law offense of sodomy and how it affects LGBTIQA+ groups.

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