Hivos International

Sexual Rights and Diversity

Un derroche de energía positiva me transmitió a nivel personal el primer día del Diálogo de alto nivel: ‘Uniendo nuestras voces para transformar’, que organizó ICW Latina e Hivos América Latina con el financiamiento del Fondo Mundial para la lucha contra el sida, la tuberculosis y la malaria, en San José, Costa Rica.

By Fauzia Mohammed

The question as to whether it is a permissive society, a blind eye by the community, an ill-bred culture or weak policies at institution level that has prompted sexual harassment incidences to sky rocketing numbers remains unanswered. Regrettably, sexually inappropriate remarks towards women at work places, educational centers and society at large have been normalized while the general public dismisses it as “men will always be men”.

Puede leer este blog en español aquí.

How does it feel to grow up in a completely different environment as a transwoman? In 2007, all of the Netherlands could peer into the life of Amsterdam model and DJ Valentijn de Hingh (27). She had been regularly followed from the age of seven until seventeen for the movie “Boyhood” by the documentary filmmaker Hetty Nietsch, making her a role model for many transgender people.

Increasingly companies are realizing that they exist beyond making profits and have a key role to play in improving the lives of the people they serve or interact with-whether it’s their customers, employees or the society at large.

There are a few critical moments in the lifespan of a grant-making programme: Those moments in which you need to press pause, contemplate the journey so far, and look back at your achievements and challenges. After one year of grant-making, filled with work on designing and refining four different types of calls for proposals, reviewing over 1000 grant applications from ten countries spread out in 3 regions, Voice needed a moment to reflect on whether we have actually been engaging with the right audiences.

Over these last couple of months, Latin America has been vibrating and changing: we’ve gone from celebration to mourning, from anger to relief in a matter of days. Just one month ago, we awoke to the news of a murder attempt against our friend David Valle, LGBTI community leader in Honduras and member of Somos CDC, a partner organization of Hivos.

At age 15, Tanaka (not her real name) was forced into sex work in order to fend for herself. Now aged 17, Tanaka has been through what can be simply described as hell, something a child like her ought never to experience. She fell pregnant hardly a year after she started engaging in sex work, and her tales of violence at the hands of men are harrowing and heart rending.

Tanaka lost her baby a few months after giving birth, a memory which evoked tears in her eyes as she recounted the story recently.

The Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA) organisation recently obtained official registration by the NGO Coordination board in Kenya, a step towards ensuring they operate legally without fear of intimidation.This journey started when a landmark ruling in 2014 by the High Court of Kenya ordered the NGO Coordination Board to register the group.

Hivos East Africa’s Communications Officer sat down with Audrey Mbugua to understand the transgender movement in Kenya and how the journey has been for them in respect to human rights.

This is the question we sought to answer on 5 July 2017 when we congregated in Nairobi with various stakeholders across sectors during the launch of the colorful workplaces programme. I must say I was quite nervous when we were putting this event together. I wondered how it would be received by different people especially those in the private sector. 

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