The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has invited members of the public and civil society organisations to give feedback on areas of intervention to achieve LGBTI+ equality in South Africa.
Last week, the CGE launched a national campaign to solicit public comments and contributions through an online questionnaire on the state of LGBTI + equality, 27 years after the dawn of democracy in the country.
“The comments will be used to identify key areas of intervention for the CGE to ensure the achievement of LGBTI+ equality in South Africa,” said the commission.
While acknowledging the progress over the last few decades – marriage equality, removal of sodomy laws, equal recognition of spousal benefits and inclusion of same-sex couples in adoption – the CGE said that it is important to re-look at areas where there has been little to no progress and even regression, such as transgender inclusion, forced divorces and intersex genital mutilation.
The commission noted that the eradication of explicitly discriminatory legislative provisions from South Africa’s law books has not ended societal prejudices that entrench and encourage discriminatory practices and actions in employment, access to health, criminal justice and safety and security.
“Whilst the Constitutional Court has recognised and declared unconstitutional various exclusionary provisions, this has had little effect on improving the life chances of the LGBTI+ community as a whole,” said the CGE. This year alone, 19 queer people have been brutally murdered across the country.
Through its online questionnaire, the commission is requesting input on the following human rights areas of concern: criminal justice; the right to education; labour and employment; access to healthcare for transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons; and any other human rights issues deemed crucial for the achievement for LGBTI+ equality in South Africa.
The CGE is a chapter nine institution that is constitutionally tasked with ensuring the promotion of respect for gender equality. It has the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality.
The deadline for feedback is 10 December 2021. The questionnaire is available here on the CGE website.