south_africa_elctions_politcal_parties_to_discuss_gay_rightsPolitical parties will, ahead of next month’s elections, address concerns and questions about the status of LGBTI equality at a discussion in Cape Town next week.

Hosted by the Gender Equity Unit at the University of the Western Cape, in partnership with LGBTI and gender civil society groups, the event will take place on Wednesday, 23 April at the School of Public Health at the university.

The discussion is titled “the lived reality of the LGBTI constituency after 20 years of democracy.”

According to the organisers, a panel of activists and advocates representing LGBTI and gender civil society will direct concerns and questions to political parties.

Organiser Marlow Newman-Valentine told Mambaonline that parties that have confirmed they will attend include Agang, the DA and the EFF. Confirmation is still awaited from the ANC, the Freedom Front Plus and the UDM.

Newman-Valentine said that four key areas would be discussed. These include the escalating number of hate crimes against LGBTI people; discrimination and stigmatisation in health and education services; secondary victimisation by state officials; and government’s “quiet diplomacy” on the issue of homophobic laws on the African continent.

A similar event was held five years ago which, said Newman-Valentine, will allow LGBTI groups to see if there have since been changes in the parties’ views or policies.

“It’s about accountability. What we found five years ago was that a lot of political parties subscribe to the values of the Constitution, but their policies don’t speak to the implementation of these values on the ground.”

For more information or to RSVP to attend please contact Marlow Newman-Valentine on marlow@nacosa.org.za.

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