In the field of Gender and Sexual Rights, Hivos has a long and remarkable history. We were one of the first organisations that campaigned for sexual rights, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs), but also men who have sex with men (MSM) without considering themselves to be homosexual. In the field of women’s rights, we have been supporting women all over the world to organise themselves and become a countervailing power in their societies. In both domains, we seek new ways to bring about change in people’s mindsets. Knowledge generation has been one of our strategies to constantly work at the forefront of developments.
We have brought together activists, academics and social change practitioners from the global south and north, and partnered with knowledge institutions at the global, national and local level. In 2011, we organised the first African Same-Sex Sexualities and Gender Diversity Conference, bringing together eighty activists and academics from across the continent to share their research in the advancement of health, rights, well-being and acceptance of LGBTI Africans. The conference was organised in close collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Centre (HSRC, South Africa) and Columbia University (USA). Results of the conference were published in the academic journal “Culture, Health and Sexuality”. In 2014, Hivos and partners went a step further by not only organising the second edition of the African Same-Sex Sexualities and Gender Diversity Conference – bringing together 60 activists and academics – but also by publishing its own volume, called “Boldly Queer – African perspectives on Same-Sex Sexualities and Gender Diversity”. The book, edited and funded by Hivos, is a colorful collection of African narratives on same-sex sexualities through stories, essays, articles and photography written by African scholars, journalists and activists.
In 2010, the English version of the Hivos-sponsored and edited volume “Urgency Required” was published. This collection brings together different experiences and perspectives on the lives and struggles of LGBTI people across the globe, with contributions from prominent writers and activists from the Hivos network.
More recent knowledge work on gender issues originates from our Women on the Frontline programme, that aims to work towards the full and equal participation of women in transforming societies, by strengthening women’s organisations in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia. Among others, the programme has produced a toolkit for women’s rights activists and is undertaking research on the role of women’s organisations in the prevention of violent extremism.
For these and more insights about gender, sexual rights and diversity, do browse through this dossier! Are you looking for a specific publication? Use our publication search.