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World Social Forum 2007

in KENYA, 16/01/2007

Rich LGBT program at the World Social Forum 2007 in Nairobi, a milestone for the Kenyan LGBT movement

The World Social Forum (WSF) is an annual meeting held by members of the anti-globalisation movement to coordinate world campaigns, share and refine organizing strategies, and inform each other about movements from around the world and their issues.

It is an open meeting place where civil society groups and social movements engaged in building a society centred on people can come together to share experiences, debate ideas, build networks and create possibilities. It tends to meet in January when its "great capitalist rival", the World Economic Forum is meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This is not a coincidence. The date was chosen because of the logistical difficulty of organizing a mass protest in Davos and to try to overshadow the coverage of the World Economic Forum in the news media.

The 7th edition of the World Social Forum brings the world to Africa as activists, social movements, networks, coalitions and other progressive forces from around the world and all corners of the African continent converge in Nairobi, Kenya from January 20 till the 25th. Some 150,000 delegates are expected at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani, Nairobi where over 1,000 activities will take place in the 106 spaces provided at the venue.

During the Methodology and Content commissions meeting in Nairobi, nine terrains of action were identified. The 4th terrain aims at “ensuring dignity, defending diversity, guaranteeing gender equality and eliminating all forms of discrimination”.

A Feminist Forum is taking place right before the WSF and, as in previous editions, LGBT issues will also be present at the Forum despite the fact Kenya does criminalize same sex with 14 years imprisonment.

This edition of the World Social Forum is likely to be remembered as the climax of a memorable year for the LGBT movement in Kenya. This year, eight Nairobi based groups joined forces to create GALCK, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, KEGALE (Kenya Gay and Lesbian Trust), initially named Gay Kenya was the first ever LGBT group to be officially registered by the Kenyan authorities and a handful of brave activists marched in the streets of the capital and held a booth during World Aids Day.

Activists from the LGBTI-movement in Kenya have prepared a rich program of LGBT initiatives in cooperation with allies from all over Africa and beyond.

ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, IGHLRC, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the South South Dialogue, the Dutch Development agency Hivos will be organising panels. In addition, the Q spot, a safe meeting point for all people interested by sexual and LGBT rights will propose poetry readings, exhibitions, performances, film screenings every day from 10 AM. Hiv counselling and testing will also be offered on the spot.

We have compiled some information for you on:

World Social Forum

This 7th edition in Nairobi

Feminist Dialogue

Various groups which have formed GALCK in Nairobi

HIV/AIDS Situation for Men having sex with Men in Nairobi

The LGBT program at the WSF (see “days” top of the page)



Stephen Barris / ILGA
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