Hivos International

Hivos has a long and remarkable history in the field of Gender and Sexual Rights. We were one of the first organisations that campaigned for sexual rights, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, intersexuals (LGBTIs), but also men who have sex with men (MSM) without considering themselves homosexual. In the field of women’s rights, we have been supporting women all over the world to organise 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. 

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Boldly Queer

We have brought together activists, academics and social change practitioners from all over the world, and partnered with knowledge institutions at the global, national and local level. For instance, Hivos and partners organised the second edition of the African Same-Sex Sexualities and Gender Diversity Conference, bringing together 60 activists and academics, which published “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.

Women’s Rights Activism

More recent knowledge work on gender issues originates from our Women on the Frontline programme. It aims for the full and equal participation of women in the Middle East and North Africa by strengthening women’s organisations in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia. Among others, the programme has produced a storytelling 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 on gender, sexual rights and diversity, do browse through this dossier!

Other Knowledge Dossiers

Citizen Action

Citizens are central actors in public and political arenas. Their ability to hold governments to account and to participate fully in democratic processes is contingent upon their ability to associate, assemble freely and express opinions. Around the globe citizens are claiming their rights, rising up to injustices and proposing alternatives. What lessons can we draw from citizen action? How do different forms of technology contribute to raise citizens’ voices? In this dossier, we explore various forms of citizen action and their effectiveness at bringing about positive change.

Methods of Change

We are constantly seeking to improve our understanding of the world's workings and our place in it. To us, social innovation is a means to an end, or better yet, a way to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world. But what does that mean in practice? It means working with a broad range of stakeholders in multi-actor initiatives and conducting “Change Labs”. It means having a user-centered approach and co-creating solutions with the people we want to reach.

Pluralism

Pluralism and diversity are essential ingredients of a dynamic society. Yet, ingrained values, acquired privileges and established power structures often limit people’s acceptance of different values, identities and religions. In too many places around the world, people are faced with intolerance.

Renewable and Inclusive Energy

Climate change and sustainable energy production are high on the political agenda. Public debate generally focuses on how the use of fossil fuels can be reduced. However, less attention is given to the lack of energy access for people living in developing countries. Remarkably, the solution to both issues is the same: renewable energy. In its projects, Hivos aims to demonstrate that green and inclusive energy is not a pipe dream or an alternative, but simply the best choice. Our research informs our stance in the debate and reflects on our projects in the field.

Sustainable Food and Biodiversity

Hivos has a long history of working on issues concerning food, agriculture and biodiversity. Research has and continues to underpin many of our projects in the field, and contributes to broader debates on sustainable food. In our view, citizens should be centre-stage in a transition towards sustainable and inclusive food production and consumption. Signs of the required transformation are emerging worldwide, luckily. In local communities, small enterprises are launching sustainable food products. How do those frontrunners opt for change?

Transitions in the Middle East and North Africa

Since the outbreak of the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2011, the region is undergoing tectonic shifts. The pace, quality and quantity of political and social changes are unprecedented. In short, the MENA region is the scene of historic revolutions and counter-revolutions. In such a rapidly changing context, conventional wisdom about static societies and states in the MENA do not make sense and are out of context. There is no shortage of knowledge produced in the West about MENA.