A first of its kind gathering bringing together lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women campaigners from around the globe is taking place in South Africa.
The Global Feminist LBQ Women’s* Conference runs from 5 to 9 July 2019 in Cape Town. It has been organised by an international feminist collective working group that consists of 22 LBQ women* activists.
The conference aims to create a space for activists and advocates to “come together, share knowledge, exchange strategies, strengthen connections, mobilise resources, and take the lead in building a global LBQ women’s* movement with the capacity to influence the world agenda on human rights, health, development and inclusion.”
Around 500 participants from around the world are expected to take part. In order to bring all these activists and advocates together, the collective has made 140 scholarships available to ensure that there will be representation from all socio-economic backgrounds.
The conference will center the marginalised LBQ community, inclusive of intersex, trans and gender-non-conforming individuals. This aims to ensure there is an expansion to the activism that happens when referring to women’s* rights. (The organisers use the term “women*” as an indicator of self-identification.)
The organisers have aligned the conference with the following values:
Access: the organisers have tried their utmost to ensure the conference is as accessible as possible by implementing the following measures: an accessible venue for those living with disabilities, a host-country with the least amount of challenges when it comes to entering the country to ensure that activists and advocates from all around the world can attend and have also made 140 scholarships available.
Representation: The question of representation was imperative to the organisers, not only in who will fill the room and from the various countries they will represent, but the type of sessions that are included in the conference. Poetry, art, dance and the abstract are as important as the academic.
Inclusive and intersectional feminist framework: The organising and implementation of this conference has organically, yet intentionally taken up an intersectional feminist philosophy and it is our greatest mission to ensure that the content of this conference reflects this.
Collective Ownership: It is the working collective of 22 LBQ women* volunteers from across the world who have led the process and taken up shared ownership of this beautiful gathering of advocates and activists. COC Netherlands spearheaded the impetus for the conference and facilitated its coming together in partnership with our local host, the Triangle Project, the Femme Collective, Gender Equity Unit (University of the Western Cape), African Gender Institute (University of Cape Town), Gender Dynamix and FreeGender.
Although the conference will not be open to the public, selected panel discussions and interviews will be available to watch on the conference’s Facebook and Instagram live feeds.