Monday, 25 November 2019
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?
- 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
- 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
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.