There is widely understood knowledge of the socially-entrenched and legally-enforced system of violence against women in Africa. However, what is rarely acknowledged is that at the basis of this phenomenon exists a patriarchal system that survives through the enforcement of gender norms and the enactment of violence against persons who pose a threat to it. The result is an African feminism that is deeply heteronormative in its thesis, in the way it excludes LBTQ women, sex workers and the abortion rights movement from feminist conversations and the discourse on equality and human rights, either by denial of or disregard for their lived realities and experiences.
Historically, feminist movements in various other countries have at some stage of their development been involved in the exclusion and oppression of LBTQ women from the feminist movement, seeing them as distractions or as bad publicity. The incompleteness of this praxis, especially in the African context, demands an interrogation, one that challenges its counterproductive workings, its implicit support of the patriarchy, and its perpetuation of oppression, deliberate or not.
Following this understanding of the need for collective action to protect the rights of minorities in Africa, CHEVS hosted a panel at the 10th African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights (ACSHR) to discuss the interactions and intersections that lie between LGBTQIA+ advocacy and feminism, the causes of these divisions and ways to address them in order to give us a louder, and stronger voice in Africa.
This has led to the need for a call for action from CHEVS to feminist-oriented human rights activists to engage on different cornerstones of advocacy.
To get the full call for action, click below to download.