LBQ Pre-Conference at ILGA Asia Cambodia
4-8 December 2017
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer women often experience difficulties in accessing justice. As women, they are subject to the same barriers as all women, and as people they are persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. LBQ women have been described as invisible, ignored, neglected and marginalized within the larger LGBT community, by funders and women’s organizations.
In December 2015, at ILGA Asia Taiwan, LBQ women organized a petition, wrote a statement and staged a protest when they found that there was no meaningful representation of LBQ women at the conference sessions. Some of the demands made were to ensure a fair and transparent process, quota systems and waiver of high membership fees that under-resourced LBQ organizations cannot afford.
In October 2016, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Sayoni and Chinese Lala Alliance organized a training on CEDAW for LBQ groups across South East Asia and East Asia that started a dialogue amongst LBQ groups on patriarchy and the need to organize around their concerns. It was also concluded that whereas marginalized groups have been able to rally and mobilize around their issues, this has not been the case for LBQ women.
In addition, LBQ groups shared that many women groups shunned them, and was told that LGBTIQ issues are seen as highly controversial and the subject of SOGIE far too “contentious.” To the women groups, taking up such a battle is seen not just as a lost cause, but a potential danger: advocacy groups could lose whatever influence and support they currently enjoy in their country. LBQ issues are therefore put on the backburner, and neglected. Many LBQ groups found themselves out casted, ignored and classified as ‘others’.
Similarly, LBQ groups find that they are often invisibilized due to sexism and heterosexism in the LGBT community where gay men are most likely to be in positions of power and in governing bodies.
With the support of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Sayoni, UN Women Asia Pacific, Justice for Sisters, COC and OutRight Action International, this LBQ Pre-conference at ILGA Asia Cambodia from 4-5 December is the first initiative to bring LBQ activists together in the much-needed construction of a LBQ movement in the Asia Pacific. The 2 days pre-conference will offer a space for the empowerment of LBQ women, to build solidarity and to articulate our needs, struggles and to envision possibilities as a collective.
The objectives of the LBQ pre-session are as follows:
- To create a space for the empowerment of LBQ women, and a forum for discussion to build solidarity.
- To identify priorities, strategize, and formulate a collective Call to Action / statement as an advocacy tool which will,
- Be synergize with the other workshop panels on Shrinking Space for LBT activism in Asia and Protecting Asian LBTI women’s rights at the UN: CEDAW and other mechanisms.
- Represent Asian LBQ women’s voices that will be used to help the organizing committee of the Global Lesbian Conference formulate strategies that are inclusive and diverse.
4th December - LBQ pre-conference Day 1
5th December – LBQ pre-conference Day 2
(These sessions will be working on capturing LBQ women’s voices in their lived realities and sub-regions through story telling in order to work towards a statement or Call to Action expressing their unified vision, gaps and trends.)
7th December – Shrinking Space for LBT activism in Asia
(This session creates a safe space for LBT people to raise their voice to address the challenges and sharing good practices in order to develop strategy and building LBQ movement in Asia and the Pacific within feminist movement and social movement for justice.)
8th December – Protecting Asian LBTI women’s rights at the UN: CEDAW and other mechanisms
(The session will focus on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as an instrument to promote protection and accountability for LGBTI rights. The panel discussion will bring together experiences from different countries in the region in using the processes of CEDAW reporting, shadow reporting and monitoring to advocate for LGBTI rights protection and monitor compliance. The session will also explore experiences and opportunities in raising SOGIE-related cases under the CEDAW Optional Protocol.)
The target participants are representatives of LBQ organizations based in Asia Pacific. Suggestions to the selection criteria are as follows:
- An interest in collective action on a regional scale;
- Capacity to engage with the LBQ Asia Pacific Caucus for possible follow-up processes;
- Youth and minority representation (including LBQ women with disabilities) encouraged;
- Interest to engage in CEDAW reporting processes.
Contact Jean Chong with questions: jchong [at] outrightinternational.org
Published on December 5, 2017 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization