29 November 2022
The South African government fails to provide adequate funding for shelters and other services assisting gender-based violence survivors.
The fate of victims worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. The devastating impact of loadshedding on South Africa’s economy and job creation aggravated the crisis victims face.
Homophobia, stigma (negative and usually unfair beliefs), and discrimination (unfairly treating a person or group of people) in our society makes it even more difficult for #LGBTQIA+ communities.
LGBTQIA+ is an acronym used to signify Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual people collectively.
“South Africa is facing a situation in which survivors have been locked down with abusers. They need economic security to free themselves from their abusers, all during a very tight job market and a period of food insecurity. Key services such as shelters have been under huge stress,” Wendy Isaack said, LGBTQIA+ researcher at Human Rights Watch, in an earlier interview.
Bafana Khumalo (Global Co-Chair of MenEngage Alliance and Co-Founder of Sonke Gender Justice) said the elimination of barriers to women’s, girls’ and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer individuals’ full participation in decision-making at all levels was essential to the advancement of gender equality, sustainable development and the achievement of peace worldwide.
“In every region and context, ideologies of men’s unearned entitlements and privileges over women, socialised men and boys to respond to conflict with violence and to dominate their partners and others in their lives both in the public and private spheres. A lot of work was needed to mitigate this toxic behaviour,” he said.
The Information Regulator hosted a Human Rights Month webinar in March 2020 to focus on the challenges often faced by LGBTQIA + communities. Globally the South African Constitution is one of the few to prohibit unfair discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. Historically the community was marginalised and discriminated against which saw them being denied employment opportunities and access to some basic human rights and freedom of expression.
John Jeffrey, Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, emphasised that access to information is fundamental to the attainment of universal human rights and it is globally recognised as being crucial to transparency and good governance.
“Protecting the rights of LGBTQIA+ persons is not only about access to information, but it’s also about protecting the privacy and personal information of people. States should adopt anti-discrimination legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited grounds of discrimination and develop specific programmes and policies to end the spiral of discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion,” he said.
Non-profit organisations assisting the LGBTQIA+ communities are:
The Triangle Project:
“We offer a wide range of services to LGBTQI+ communities. These include sexual health clinical care, counselling, support groups, a helpline, public education and training services, community outreach, court support to survivors of hate crimes and a needle and syringe programme (NSP),” the Triangle Project said.
Telephone: 021 422 0255
OUT provides services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and MSM communities, including HIV testing, counselling, treatment, prevention and general sexual health and lifestyle support.
Telephone: 012 430 3272 / 066 190 5812
The Pride Shelter Trust:
The Trust is a short-term residential facility that strives to provide relevant and supportive services within a safe environment to LGBTI+ individuals who have experienced or continue to experience a crisis and/or trauma, especially in the context of homo/trans prejudice, which includes stigma, discrimination, gender-based violence, xenophobia and sudden homelessness. It also helps individuals who need shelter and psycho-social care during the crisis and/or trauma.
Telephone: 021 423 2871
Sonke Gender Justice:
Sonke strengthens the capacity of governments, civil society and citizens to advance gender justice and women’s rights, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS. In this way contributing to social justice and the elimination of poverty.
Telephone: 021 423 7088