Monday, 25 November 2019

RIA supports Gaborone Pride

For the past 8 years Rainbow Identity Association hosted transgender and intersex pride in Gaborone. 2019 there will be no transgender and intersex pride but Gaborone LGBTI pride, this is because individuals approached the organization with the concept to do Gaborone Pride, the purpose of Gaborone Pride event is to call for acceptance and care amongst gender and sexual minorities in Botswana’s diverse society as well as to provide a platform to continue the fight for equality and to challenge prejudice.

As an organization that specifically working with transgender and intersex community believes in support of human rights, respect for human rights movement without tokenism. Trans and intersex community share with LGB community an experience of stigma and discrimination due to non-conformity to traditional or conventional sex.  We are still medically constructed to be either male or female where medicalization is posed as a solution to discrimination.

Rainbow Identity Association believes in diverse inclusive and supportive community. We believe this Gaborone Pride will be a true representation of our community, social interactions aren’t usually that relaxed but during the pride been together in public and keeping each other safe and uplifted it’s the day LGBTI are not outcasts. Pride is an opportunity for many to be true to selves in a world that’s not so friendly to people outside the norm.

Rainbow Identity Association salute the individuals who came up with the concept for not relaying on organizations to do such activities, this shows community empowerment and we hope to see all of you on Saturday 30 November 2019 at the three chiefs monument from 0730hrs – 2130hrs


The 16 Days of Activism campaign to oppose violence against women and children is officially launched today, 25 November 2019. One in three women worldwide experiences gender-based violence, according to the United Nations. The theme this year is FROM AWARENESS TO VISIBILITY. Rainbow identity Association will be having activities during the 16 Days of Activism in promoting awareness and visibility of Trans and intersex people. See the following posters for the upcoming events.

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence (GBV) often occurs within relationships, and involves acts of aggression committed against women, men, boys or girls, transgender and intersex persons as a result of social norms that dictate the roles and behaviour ‘expected’ of each gender. Although men and boys are also subjected to abuse and violence, transmen, transwomen, intersex women and girls are more often affected due to power imbalances and the low social status often accorded to them. These factors often result in discrimination and being denied opportunities in various spheres.

Groups that are particularly vulnerable include women and girls, children, older people, people living with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA+) people.
What forms does gender-based violence take?

GBV includes:
  • sexual harassment
  • rape and/or sexual violence
  • stalking (repeatedly following, watching and/or harassing another person)
  • physical, emotional and economic abuse
  • child abuse
Sexual violence is broadly defined as any sexual act (or attempt to obtain a sexual act or other act directed against a person’s sexuality) using force by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim in any setting. It includes intimate-partner violence, sexual assault, forced prostitution, exploitation, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, infanticide and neglect.

Coercion is a central element of sexual violence and may involve varying degrees of force. Apart from physical force, it may include psychological intimidation, blackmail or other threats – for instance, the threat of physical harm, of being dismissed from a job or being failed in a class.

Sexual abuse is defined as “any conduct that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the sexual integrity of the complainant”. The term also covers any sexually stimulating behaviour by an adult towards a child victim who is younger than the age of consent, which can be more specifically defined as statutory rape or child sexual abuse.

Physical abuse is defined as any act or threatening act intended to cause feelings of physical pain, injury or other physical suffering or bodily harm towards another person. Children and women are most affected by this kind of violence.

Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse are any patterns of degrading or humiliating conduct towards another, including repeated insults, ridicule or name-calling; repeated threats to cause emotional pain; or the repeated exhibition of obsessive possessiveness or jealousy, such that it constitutes a serious invasion of privacy, liberty, integrity or security.

Economic abuse is the unreasonable deprivation of economic or financial resources to which a person is entitled under law, or which the complainant is required to pay for basic household necessities, bond repayments or payment of rent in respect of a shared residence. It also covers the unreasonable disposal of household effects or other property.     
What impact can these forms of violence have?

The harmful consequences could include:
  • ill health
  • psychological, physical and emotional trauma
  • unwanted pregnancies
  • sexually transmitted infections, including HIV
  • suicide
  • depression
  • low self-esteem
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • low productivity at home, in the community, at work and at university
What is the difference between gender-based violence and violence against women?

Many discussions about violence against women tend to employ the terms GBV and violence against women (VAW) interchangeably. However, VAW is a form of GBV that encompasses a range of abuses targeted specifically at women and girls throughout their lives, and has its roots in gender inequality.
Essentially, VAW is a subcategory of GBV – men and boys could also be victims of GBV, though women and girls are the main victims.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) defines VAW as: ‘Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.’ 


Friday, 7 June 2019

JUNE 16 2019 “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”

RIA reiterates   that   the   physical and psychological safety of children is key to their health and future prospects. Where   this   safety   is   threatened,   their   rights and needs are ignored. Children who are affected include adolescents, females, refugees,  and  displaced  children,  children  in  armed  conflict,  tension  and  strife.  As  such, the first step towards the promotion and  protection  of  this  safety  lies  in  the  application  of  international  human  rights  law in humanitarian situations.  The  requirement  to  protect  and  to  ensure  the  protection  of  the  rights  of  the  child,  calls  for  the  use  of  international  human  rights  law  as  the  measure  of  first  resort  in  a  humanitarian  crisis.  Reliance  on  human  rights  law  as  captured  in  the  African  Children’s  Charter,  for  example,  offers  protection  of  children  affected  by  conflict, crises and humanitarian situations, and  protection  in  other  situations.  This  is  because  human  rights  standards  give  rise  to  legal  obligations  that  are  generally  valid  at  all  times  and  in  all  situations,  including during humanitarian crises. Thus, the  application  of  humanitarian  law  is  a  complementary  tool  to  the  protection  of  children’s rights in humanitarian contexts. The universally recognized humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and  independence  are  themselves  linked  to  the  core  principles  of  children’s  rights,  particularly  the  right  to  life,  survival  and  development,  non-discrimination,  and  the  best interests of the child.  The  requirement  to  place  children’s  rights  first  is  an  indication  that  where  there  is  an  obligation,  the  requisite  body  or  individual  must  fulfil  such  an  obligation  in  the  interests  of  the  child  or  children  concerned.  This  is  a  restatement  of  the  need  to  uphold  the  best  interests  of  the  child at all times.   Placing   children’s   rights   first   is   a   recognition  of  the  principle  in  Article  4(1)  of  the  Children’s  Charter  that  should  be  interpreted broadly to incorporate all actions that directly or indirectly affect children.  The best  interests’  principle  ought  to  be  used  as a “gap filling” tool that is used to ensure that  the  child  whose  rights  are  violated  in  a  humanitarian  crisis  are  subsequently  recognized and protected by the world.

Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First the best interest of the child.  This should be evaluated through the tools used to re-integrate the children who are affected by the humanitarian crisis. Closely linked to the child’s right to life, survival and development is the  right  to  health. Humanitarian crises affect children’s health not only physically, but mentally and psychologically as well. States needs to pay attention  to  the  health  needs  of  children,  even  and  especially  during  humanitarian  crises,   and   respond   to   their   survival   needs. Attention should also be paid to the health needs of children based on gender differences.  For example, adolescent girls in humanitarian crises may have sanitation and/or   menstruation   as   well   as   sexual   and reproductive health needs (including sexually   transmitted   diseases)   that   are   different from the needs of other affected children.  Also of great importance to children’s survival      and      development      during      humanitarian crises is the right to education. RIA  affirms  the  importance  of  securing  education  for  children  regardless  of   context.   Access   to   education   and   learning   helps   children   cope   with   the   trauma of humanitarian disasters, enabling them to build resilience and provides them with some form of stability. What do children want in times of emergency and crisis? They want an education,  focused  on  children’s  development,  able  to  prepare  children  for  preventing  and  dealing  with  or   responding   to   humanitarian   crises,  equipping  them  equipping  them  with  practical  skills  to  enhance  their  protection  and  survival. We call the government of Botswana  to  have  strategies  in  place  to  ensure  children  can  continue  to  access  education during humanitarian crises if they arise. ‘Children’s rights first’ underscores the interconnectedness of all children rights whether during or outside of humanitarian crises.  Like  the  Charter  (and  the  global  United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – CRC), Agenda 2030 recognizes the    interdependence    of    rights    and    underscores  the  importance  of  the  goals  to  the  development  of  children.  Through  the  adoption  of  a  rights-based  approach  to   sustainable   development,   children’s   rights  are  highlighted  as  the  pivot  around  which  State  action  towards  development  should  revolve.  This  approach  increases  monitoring   and   improves   accountability   of  governments  towards  the  realization  of  children’s  rights  in  connection  to  Agenda  2030 goals.32.    Similarly,    it    is    important    for    all    stakeholders, including those working in separate   fields   of   development,   policy,   and human rights, etc.  To work together and ensure a cohesive and comprehensive response   to   humanitarian   crises   rather   than working in silos. 

With all this having been said, it is vital that we as RIA remind the public on the Hands of Our Genitals campaign which is aimed at protecting intersex children from the health risks and permanent damage caused by surgeries done on them at birth to “normalize” their sex and fit them in a box.