Date & Time: Thursday, 14th March 2013, 7-9PM
Venue: G2 Lecture Theatre SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG
Speakers:Professor Marc Epprecht, Department of Global Development Studies at Queen's University, Sibongile Ndashe, Lawyer, INTERIGHTS; Stéphane Djedje, House of Rainbow Fellowship. Chair:Oliver Phillips, Reader in Law, University of Westminster.
The persecution of people in Africa on the basis of their assumed or perceived homosexual orientation has received considerable coverage in the popular media in recent years. Gay-bashing by political and religious figures in Zimbabwe and Gambia; draconian new laws against lesbians and gays and their supporters in Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda; and the imprisonment and extortion of gay men in Senegal and Cameroon have all rightly sparked international condemnation.
However, much of the analysis thus far has been highly critical of African leadership and culture without considering local nuances, historical factors and external influences that are contributing to the problem. Such commentary also overlooks grounds for optimism in the struggle for sexual rights and justice in Africa, which is gaining ground.
Drawing on the history of homosexualities and LGBTI and HIV/AIDS activist networks across the continent, where homosexuality is still illegal in 36 countries, this event will look beyond the headlines. Our panel will examine the core issues at play, review recent achievements in challenging the homophobic tide by religious and political leaders alike, and consider the factors that will support the long-term success of the sexual rights movement in Africa.
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