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A fatwa was issed against me; they condemned me for normalizing obscenity and indecency among women by persuading them to come out of their homes. … I said, ‘You should also give a fatwa against Hazrat Khadija (the first wife of Prophet Muhammad) because she was also a trader.’ “God has not made us as weak as we have made ourselves.”
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The transgender teenager fled a military offensive in Myanmar’s Rakhine State and endured a days-long journey by boat and foot to reach a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh in 2017. But at the camp, instead of peace, she experienced continued abuse and isolation, driven by that same familiar discrimination. “I was tortured a lot in Myanmar because of my femininity,” the woman, who still lives in the camp, recalled. “I was beaten and so I went to the village representative, who blamed me, saying that it was my behaviour that caused me to get beaten.
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In every region of the world, LGBTIQ+ people are routinely denied their rights to freedom, safety, and equality. They may face pervasive discrimination, experience intolerable acts of violence that go unpunished, and lack access to justice. These experiences cannot be separated from struggles they may also face on account of other intersecting identities. Throughout this year’s moments of collective crisis, celebration, and all that is in between, LGBTIQ+ activists have continued to fight against inequalities, anchored in and strengthened by the work of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, to push for a safer, more equal world.
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Advances in LGBTIQ rights in Nepal began with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to legally recognize a third gender category; audit all laws to identify those that discriminated against LGBT people; and open the door to consider same-sex marriage. In 2003, another Supreme Court decision said a person cannot be prohibited from cohabitating with someone of the same gender. But an analysis Prevention Collaborative did in July 2020 with support from UN Women Nepal said that, “Translating the Supreme Court rulings into a legal framework that guarantees inclusion and protections is slow-paced and hindered mainly by bureaucracy and dominant patriarchal institutional and social culture.”
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UN Women is supporting dialogue between the Government and LGBTIQ groups to ensure that Nepal’s LGBTIQ people are properly counted in the 2021 population census. The last census, in 2011, tallied only 1,500 people identifying as LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and queer/questioning). That was because the census lacked specific questions or a method to collect this data, and the nature of the census made many people afraid to come out.
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The sun may not have been shining on the Metro Manila Pride March in Marikina City, but the horizon was nonetheless illuminated with bright rainbow flags and costumes celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community. Roughly 56,000 people took to the streets in the 29 June march to celebrate diversity of sexual expression and gender identity, and to rally for the rights of the LGBTQI community. This year’s theme was Resist Together, a call for advocates and supporters to fight discrimination against LGBTQI people.
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“I was born in a traditional Newar household in Patan, Kathmandu Valley, and my childhood was highly influenced by my family’s cultural background. I lived in a big family with my grandparents and they did not speak Nepali. So, I grew up speaking Nepal Bhasa, my mother tongue. However, at school I would get shut out of my native language as I was only exposed to Nepali and English, the only two languages used in most educational institutions in Nepal.
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“Leadership isn’t easy, you have to be respectful and humble. It takes a strong heart,” explains Nausori Market Vendors’ Association President Venina Korovusere to representatives from Finland, Iceland, Singapore, Germany, United States and several other UN Women National Committees who were in Fiji for the Global National Committees’ Meeting last month. Hosted by the UN Women National...
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With the support from UN Women, Cambodian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) people and activists have launched an online media platform to promote the rights of their community. The platform, dubbed LOVEISDIVERSITY, aims to engage youths, especially students, in increasing society’s acceptance of LGBTIQ people and the profile of LGBTIQ issues. It was launched on 8 June in a ceremony at Pannasastra University of Cambodia...
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Cambodia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people are continuing to urge the Government to make laws and policies to give them equal rights. The effort continued with a public policy dialogue between policymakers and more than 70 LGBTIQ activists, civil society groups and United Nations agencies. The dialogue took place at a hotel in Phnom Penh on 31 May, during Pride Week...
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A long-neglected component of resilience-building, response and recovery in humanitarian settings is the need to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities. Next week over one hundred LGBTIQ activists from twenty countries from Afghanistan to the Cook Islands will meet with international humanitarian organisations to call for action on the exclusion of LGBTIQ+ people from many aspects of...
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This week people all over the world are marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). This is the day when the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (LGBTIQ) persons are highlighted and diversity is celebrated. Here in Cambodia, IDAHOT is at the centre of a week of celebration and awareness-raising for LGBTIQ Pride 2017 under the theme I Am What I Am. Globally, “Families” are the focus for IDAHOT 2017. The family is...
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In March this year, the UN Human Rights Council held the first ever meeting to discuss discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. At the meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all countries around the world to decriminalize same-sex relationships and end discrimination against LGBT people. This was an important step for the United Nations in efforts to end discrimination and violence against LGBT in all member state countries, including Cambodia.