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Organizing for LGBT+ Rights Movements in West Africa

There is an icreasing trend of sexual repression in Africa, and this can derail progress in democratic dividend, which is an essential component of maintaining the SDGs. The majority of African countries have outlawed progress towards securing gender equality and inclusion, and in some countries, it is punishable by death, and hard-won achievements are being reversed. The panel will thus aim to highlight how local and feminist groups have responded to this systemic (in)justice against sexual minorities and how a future of greater tolerance and inclusion for minority sexuality can be useful for leveraging Africa’s human resources to achieve not only gender equality and dividends but also for analysing different facets of inequality in Africa for population and development policies and in transformation in a world beyond rhetoric. What is the nature of local rights organisations? What themes are these organisations most interested in or active in, and how do they differ from each other? How formal or informal are they, and how do they develop country-specific agencies in their operations? How are these groups funded, and how do funding regimes differ from country-specifics in terms of regulation? These are some of the possible questions we invite papers to respond to, with particular emphasis on issues of LGBTQ+ rights, which have become topical issues in West Africa but have received very limited discussion and publication in edited volumes on gender sexuality in Africa.

I prefer emails via dfiaveh@ucc.edu.gh or daniel.fiaveh@graduateinstitute.ch, anytime of the day. Please submit abstracts and contact information by March 15.

This panel has come at a time when there is growing political repression of minority rights and the legislation of the same. The panel is thus very useful for understanding not only national and international-level support but also group-led action and organizing. The panel thus seeks to generate discussions to show the progress in terms of self-help efforts that local LGBT+ groups have been making over the years to counter systemic repression in their local communities and to highlight the stagnation in their efforts that needs to be addressed.