Natasha Jiménez on Her Experience Spreading Awareness of Homophobia and Transphobia at the UN

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Para leer este blog en español, mira: Natasha Jiménez y su experiencia al llamar la atención de la ONU sobre la homofobia y la transfobia

In this blog, Costa Rican activist Natasha Jiménez of Mulabi provides her final on-the-ground report from the most recent session of the UN Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Natasha shares insights from her meeting with the CEDAW Committee Member from Cuba, observations from the government of Zambia’s presentation to the Committee, and provides a wrap-up of her experience in New York.

Day 6 -- July 13th

The activists from Costa Rica met with the CEDAW Committee Member from Cuba, Magalys Arrocha, to talk to her a little more about homophobia and transphobia with the hope of encouraging her to support us in her contributions to the CEDAW recommendations to the government of Costa Rica. There’s a very good possibility of including some of our themes in her recommendations.

Over the morning and afternoon, the official delegation of the government of Zambia presented their report and answered questions from the CEDAW Committee Members. These sessions included several interesting exchanges. First, the Committee Members asked the government questions about the lack of mechanisms to defend women’s rights in Zambia. The government delegation responded that it is because of low literacy and few English speakers in Zambia. The Committee also asked about cultural practices that may be considered discriminatory against women, the delegates said that they are educating the youth and using community radio as a mechanism to raise awareness and education. The government also claimed that it is working with the media to change the views of the Zambian people.

The afternoon was another lunch with the Committee Members, this time organized by Italy.

To close, I would say this was a marvelous experience full of learning and lessons. I learned a lot from the IGLHRC and IWRAW Asia Pacific trainers. The tools they gave us were very useful in making the CEDAW process easier. The NGO delegates from Zambia, Italy, Kenya and my own colleagues from Costa Rica taught me a lot about the realities that individual women face from these places. I also think they learned a lot about the realities of lesbian, trans and intersex women from my experiences and the findings I shared in my shadow report.

Above all, I thank IGLHRC for allowing me to be a part of this extraordinary trip and this sharing of knowledge, experiences, learning, and capacity.

To read the shadow report that Natasha wrote, visit the reports page on