‘Double Discrimination’ Campaign Statement
May 17 marks the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, in commemoration of the World Health Organization’s announcement on that date in 1990 that homosexuality was to be removed from the list of mental illnesses and considered as a natural tendency. This date has thus become a day of international recognition of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to live their lives without violence nor discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Obviously, in many countries in the MENA region, this was not enough to stop criminalizing homosexuality and transsexuality. For instance, in Egypt and other Arab countries, people are still being prosecuted for practicing and promoting debauchery, or “imitating” men or women. During the past years, many doctors in the Middle East region kept repeating unscientific statements like the fact that homosexuality is a mental illness and can be treated, completely ignoring what the World Health Organization has stated. Despite the remarkable progress made during the last years by the queer movement in the region, their demands are still marginalized, and the rate of violence and hate crimes against them has increased. Too often, people are still being killed out of religious fanaticism and discrimination based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The media has often supported these crimes by inciting citizens to go against the different sexual orientations and gender identities, using inflammatory titles, and publishing non-professional and discriminatory content.
Therefore, today we, the undersigned initiatives and organizations, are launching the #double_discrimination campaign to remind society that trans, lesbian, and bisexual women are facing double discrimination and violence in our society. Indeed, our society often considers that women are at the second-rank, even more, if they belong to the LGBT community. Additionally, because of the current general lockdown, many women are forced to stay at home with those who oppress them. At such times, we are fully aware that members of the LGBT community are among the most marginalized and oppressed people.
Therefore, we demand that social and family violence be lifted from them and that they be given their rights to live their lives without violence, stigmatization, nor discrimination. We believe that it is utterly important to get rid of the patriarchal prejudices against women in our society.
As all women must come together to combat violence against them, we’ll be posting from today, May 17 to May 21, on the experiences of different women with homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia.
مركز المرأة للارشاد والتوعية القانونية