• Sexual Rights and Diversity

    The beauty of human kind is our diversity. Who you love, what your gender identity is, and how you express this are all essential parts of you. This should be reason for pride, and certainly not a reason to hate.

    But throughout the world millions of persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) face stigma, exclusion, discrimination, or even violence. This makes it impossible for them to openly love their partners or freely express who they are. People living with HIV, sex workers, and (young) women experience similar attitudes.

    Hivos believes that guaranteeing a person’s sexual rights is no different from upholding his or her human rights. And that respect for sexual rights and diversity means letting people have control over their own bodies, their sexual identity and their relationships. Exercising these rights is vital to achieving true equality.

    Pride parade in East Timor

    What we are up against

    Conservative groups and anti-rights movements are increasingly targeting LGBTI people simply because of who they are. These groups generally also want to limit the power of (young) women to decide over their bodies and sexual and reproductive health. Their views are often echoed by societal leaders, the media, local authorities or lawmakers, instigating further exclusion and hate, and limiting access to sexual health or support services.

    Even though ever more civil society organizations are fighting this situation, they often stand alone in their struggle and face attacks by conservative forces.

    What Hivos strives for

    Hivos strives for a world where LGBTI people, people living with HIV, and sex workers can successfully claim their rights. A world in which societies recognize and accept all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.

    Watch our video, “Who owns Identity”

    Our approach

    Our three-step approach starts with providing skills, training and support structures for innovative individuals and organizations who dare to challenge the heterosexual norm in their fight for sexual rights and diversity. We also look out for their safety and wellbeing.

    Then we focus on connecting organizations, persons and groups to create strong alliances, while building movements that may include unusual allies. These can include religious groups, companies, doctors and journalists. Together they create a critical mass of allies that oppose discrimination and work for the social and economic inclusion of these vulnerable groups.

    Our third step is advocacy. We lobby local and international governments and influencers to respect and defend the human rights and dignity of LGBTI people everywhere.

    Our contribution

    This thematic area contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) and Goal 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

  • SO/GIE/SC training

    Are you aware of your biases about other people’s sexual orientation or gender identity? Do you know how to be truly inclusive? Hivos’ online training will help you and your organization address these questions.

    The idea for developing a course on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SO/GIE/SC) came up in our Right Here Right Now consortium. Members needed practical guidance and materials to build their capacity in programs about diversity and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In particular, they wanted to increase the participation and engagement of young LGBTI people within their programs.

    Concrete tools and exercises

    The training uses concrete tools and exercises that help you thoroughly consider issues important to sexual, gender and sex minorities. But you can use it with a diverse group of people who either do, or do not, identify as part of a sexual, gender or sex minority.

    Inclusive programming and advocacy

    The training helps improve inclusive programming and advocacy and specifically looks at issues that come into play when we talk about young people, their sexual health and rights, and SO/GIE/SC. It can also be used to develop countermeasures against discrimination and violence towards sexual minorities.

    The materials consist of downloadable components including a facilitator’s manual, PowerPoint slides for each of the seven modules, work sheets and handouts for the exercises, and a glossary of terms used.

    Conditions of use

    Before you download the SO/GIE/SC training, you will need to answer a few questions on a short form so we can see who is using our course and how.

    Our materials are published under a Creative Commons License, so they are free for all non-profit organizations. If you use them for commercial purposes, you will have to inform us so we can agree on a fair price through the form below or email.

    Please feel free to contact us with any questions about or feedback on the training. We can also help you find a trainer, if needed. You can reach us at sogiesc@hivos.org.

    Please fill out the form below