Focus Human Rights for LBT*
Strengthening LBTIQ* communities is an important concern of filia. Lesbian, bisexual, trans-identified, intersex, queer and non-binary people often experience discrimination not only because of their sex ascribed at birth but also because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. filia works to end limited rights, physical threats and lack of visibility for LBTIQ* people – and to ensure that people can move freely, live safely and express themselves regardless of their gender identity or orientation.
Ukraine: A Community Center for LBTIQ*
Strategic Funding of the Insight organisation
Insight is a Ukrainian grassroots organization for the rights of LBTIQ+ women* (lesbian, bisexual, trans, inter and queer) with six activist groups in different cities. It is also one of the few organizations in Ukraine doing explicitly feminist human rights work.
“Most LGBT* organizations are male-dominated and we repeatedly experience sexism and misogyny from representatives of these organizations. On countless occasions, we have already emphasized that women’s rights need to be included in the agenda of the LGBT* movement in Ukraine,” says Olena, who is one of the few women* who publicly admits to being a lesbian in Ukraine. In 2014, Insight was one of the initiators of the Women* Relay on the Maidan, which campaigned against sexism and gender-based violence during the revolution. In 2017, Insight organized the human rights campaign “stop hate” to speak out loud about the consequences of exclusion and discrimination.
“Choose your own scenario” is Insight’s slogan. Particularly important for Insight – as for many women’s* organizations – is flexible money that they can use according to their own priorities. For Insight, the Community Center is a big priority: a meeting place where they provide psychological support for those affected by violence, as well as legal and social counselling for LBTQI*. There is also a library at the centre.
Southern Africa: Alliances to strengthen Human Rights for LGBTQI+
Together with LSVD, filia continues the Masakhane project, which has been running since 2013. We continue to cooperate with the South African organization Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) and now include activists from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Eswatini who work in civil society organizations for women* rights and sexual diversity. Masakhane aims to enable them to develop alliances among themselves in order to lobby successfully(er) for themselves and their communities, as the situation for LBT* in Southern African countries remains precarious.
The collectives from Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe continue their already successful work: They support other lesbian, bisexual and trans groups as mentors in networking and advocacy work. In Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, equally successful work is to be established with the help of exchange visits and the transfer of best practices.
Overall, the aim is to create secure structures in a very hostile and sometimes dangerous environment and, after analyzing the respective country-specific conditions, to develop plans for proactive human rights work and also implement them in practice.