Race, Culture, and Identity
Our Voices: Mapping the Needs of LBQ Women and Trans People in Ghana RESEARCH REPORT BASED ON A COMMUNITY-LED STUDY IN FOUR ANGLOPHONE WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES
In 2016, activists and organisations from West and Central Africa met with COC Netherlands during the Changing Faces, Changing Spaces Conference (CFCS) held in Kenya to discuss and exchange best practices and experience of activism in relation to LBQT human rights issues from the different countries.
From the ‘We Exist’ research document published in 2015, it was clear that there was
relatively little information available about the situation of Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and
Transgender men and women in West Africa. In early 2017, during a national Ghana
PRIDE workshop, one of the key future project lines that needed attention was identified as research/data gathering and analysis on LBQT women’s needs and contexts. There was an explicit request by Anglophone West African partners not to make the LBQT research part of a wider LGBTIQ+ research, but to focus specifically on LBQ women and Trans persons.
Following series of conversations with West African activists and COC, a regional context
analysis on the situation of LBQT people in Anglophone and Francophone West Africa was commissioned in 2017 with COC Netherlands providing financial, technical and logistical
The initial plan was to work in five (5) Anglophone countries; Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and The Gambia. All efforts to identify an activist or organisation to be part of the
study from The Gambia failed, leading to the study being conducted in four (4) countries
viz: Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The Participatory Action Research (PAR) was conducted by the following seven (7) organisations in four (4) countries:
• Alliance for Dynamics Initiative - Ghana
• Concerned Women Initiative - Sierra Leone
• Courageous Sisters Ghana
• Sisters of the Heart - Ghana
• The Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia
• Women Action on Gender Equality - Nigeria
• Women’s Health and Equal Rights (WHER) Initiative - Nigeria
Although there was a clear interest from Francophone West African LBQT organizations, it
was decided to support two separate processes. The Francophone context analysis will be implemented starting in 2019, which will also be supported by COC.
The results of this survey clearly provide valuable evidence, which shows that across West Africa, LBQT persons face grievous health challenges and consequences partly or entirely because of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. These conditions are exacerbated by threats and abuse posed by repressive (punitive) laws, social attitudes, and practices. Arbitrary arrests and detentions, blackmail and extortions, and in some cases rape and violent attacks are a common occurrence in the lives of LBQT persons across the countries studied. It is hoped that evidence from this research will contribute to the existing body of work done in this area and that it will help in advancing the much-needed discussions and interventions in West Africa, towards improving the situation of LBQT persons in the sub-region.
No Related Publications available