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ILGA PANEL AT 2ND UNHRC SESSION - Oct 06

in WORLD, 06/10/2006

Lesbian and Bisexual Women – invisible and doubly discriminated

Lesbian and bisexual women suffer double discrimination because of their gender and because of their sexual orientation. While almost all issues and concerns of women have been addressed by the International Women’s Movements since the first World Conference on Women in 1975, the basic needs and rights of lesbian and bisexual women in the world have been unspoken and suppressed. In fact, lesbian and bisexual women all over the world are the persons most vulnerable to persecution because of their gender and their sexual orientation. Even among most women’s rights groups, lesbian and bisexual women are discriminated against, their issues often described as disruptive and divisive. As a result, the lesbian and bisexual women have had to remain silent and invisible, left out of the global march towards full emancipation.


Wednesday 4 October 2006 from 3 to 4 PM. Palais des Nations, 2nd session of the UN Human Rights Council Side Event

A panel organised by the ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association. In collaboration with Swedish Association for Sexuality Education and RFSL, the Swedish Gay and Lesbian Federation

With the financial support of the Swedish Foreign Office



Chair
Rebeca Sevilla, Education International, Belgium

Speakers
(click on their names to read the speeches. Audio material also available).

The Indian social systems are extremely family oriented (…). Women, who are not the way their families and society want them to be, often lose out immediately on this social security network. Women’s movements for long failed to address issues of sexuality, such as marriage, marital rape, etc.
Maya Shanker, Sangini Trust, India

In Zimbabwe or in most African countries – there tends to be a triple discrimination, firstly because of your race, then the fact that you are a woman and finally your sexual orientation.
Fadzai Muparutza, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe

Not everything is as easy at it appears in Sweden, though it is considered one of the most equal countries in the world as far as gender is concerned. For example, women earn on average 85 % of men. This after 25 years after the gender antidiscrimination law was passed in Sweden!
Madelaine Vilgren, RFSL, Sweden

An American study has demonstrated that young women are a group that is at a higher risk than young men (concerning suicide) since the public representations of lesbians are more dehumanizing than those of gay men, when they exist.
Catherine Gaillard, Lestime, Switzerland

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