LGBT Visibility in Africa Also Brings Backlash

IGLHRC's Shehnilla Mohamed, Africa Regional Program Coordinator along with Fellows Micheal Ighodaro (Nigeria) and Chalwe Mwansa (Zambia) were interviewed about the current situation of LGBT rights in their communities. Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch and Njeri Gateru of Kenya's National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission were also interviewed.

Read the full story at IPS: LGBT Visibility in Africa Also Brings Backlash.

Shehnilla Mohamed on Corrective Rape in South Africa

Shehnilla Mohamed, Africa director for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGHLRC), said that Gift’s murder was part of a disturbing trend in which gender-nonconforming individuals are targeted for so-called corrective rape.

“Corrective rape is really the attempt of the society to try to punish the person for acting outside the norm,” Mohamed said.

In the past 10 years in South Africa, 31 lesbians have been reported killed as the result of corrective rape, she said. A charity called Luleki Sizwe estimates that 10 lesbians are raped or gang raped a week in Cape Town alone.

On widespread persecution

“The type of brutality that you see happening to lesbians and to homosexuals in parts of Africa is just beyond comprehension,” Mohamed told IPS. “It’s like your worst horror movie, and even worse than that.”

More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalising consensual same-sex acts, according to IGLHRC.

Chalwe Mwansa on politics in Zambia

Chalwe Mwansa, a Zambian activist and IGHLRC fellow, told IPS that in his country, politicians equate cases of pedophilia and incest with homosexuality, fabricating sensational stories to inflame the public. This strategy diverts attention away from problems with unemployment, poverty, health and education.

Micheal Ighodaro on impact of 'Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition' Law in Nigeria

According to Michael Ighodaro, a fellow at IGLHRC from Nigeria, after its anti-homosexuality bill was passed in January, 90 percent of gay men who were on medications stopped going to clinics to receive them, out of fear that they would be arrested.

Read the full story »