LGBTI Rights And Policies In South Africa
The rights of the LGBTI community have presented a basis for a large amount of controversy in the last few decades as different people as well as different society have a variety of opinions. Certain societies have different measures implemented, from the United States which legalized gay marriage only as of recently to South Africa which set the bar for adding LGBTI rights to their constitution in 1996. Although there are measures in place to attempt to improve the lives of the individuals who identify as part of the community such as social policy, a question to ponder is whether or not implementing governmental policies are actually enough to make a change in the lives of those who have been suffering and have felt inferior for years. Being part of a seperate community can be isolating enough, so adding an identifying title and requiring actual measures to allow these individuals to successfully integrate into our society adds a whole new level of isolation.
Regardless of the actual level of violence that these individuals actually encounter, which is a lot, they still have to struggle with the notion that they are different from the “norm. ” There are many different social policies in place in an attempt to aid the lives of those who experience prejudice, however there are still other things that can be done to improve the damage that has already been done. Imagine living in fear of your rights being stripped from you, or someone who is not even affected by your life having oppositions to who you choose to love. Yes change can be made for the future, but it is as of now, just fictitious. Suggestions are hard to come up with in regards to such a heavy issue, however an overall change that can be made is more effort to support previously affected individuals and even progress to make sure that the members of the LGBTI community do not feel excluded in society as a whole. Policy Research Sources: Bridging the Gaps. (n. d. ). LGBT People Project South Africa.
Bridging the Gaps is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is aiming to work towards the end of HIV in South Africa. This article has a policy tool implemented, as it focuses on the reproductive health of those in South Africa. It discusses ways in which health can progress and what can be done to minimize the amount of HIV positive individuals by innovation and strengthening civil organizations. One method used is the Theory of Change goals which is a list of measures that Bridging the Gaps wants to work towards (Bridging the Gaps, n. d. ). This article centres around the goal of eliminating the increasing issues of sexual health and the rights of those living in South Africa. The article states that the biggest HIV epidemic in the world is in South Africa, so this is a large area of concern (Bridging the Gaps, n. d. ).
The topic addressed brings a new level of research to the discussion of LGBTI rights in South Africa because this is a growing issue that other articles expressing the LGBTI rights in South Africa do not address. This article is a beneficial addition to the research conducted on LGBTI rights in South Africa because personal health struggles are an essential background to the issue. Most articles discuss how everyone around the legalization of gay marriage may feel impacted, however people fail to consider how greatly it affects those who are actually part of the LGBTI community. Those who are part of the community have health concerns as well, and until they are given rights within society, certain issues such as HIV are not addressed. This website and organization proves that progress is being made in the right direction in regards to social policy being implemented, but this is aid for the future, and still proves that nothing is being done to change the past damage that has been done and those previously affected by the HIV epidemic. Campbell, J. (2018, June 20). South African Court Delivers Blow to Religious Defense of Hate Speech.
The Council for Foreign Relations is an organization that centres on foreign policy. It is an organization that is made up of lawyers, scholars, top government officials, journalists, business executives, religious leaders, educators, and nonprofit professionals. All of these members come together in order to discuss prominent policy and daily issues in governance. The author of the Article, John Campbell, is a senior colleague at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. where his work is in African policy studies. Campbell’s article focuses on a case about a pastor from Cape Town who expressed discrimination towards the LGBTI community through hate speech. Although the pastor promised to refrain from using hate speech in the future, he once again did so, violating a signed agreement in 2013 after the first infraction.
The South African courts now have to ponder the question as to whether or not a good enough defense against a hate speech charge could be religious views, which they have not yet addressed (Campbell, 2018). This article is informative in terms of addressing that there are definitely hate speech issues from prominent members of society in South Africa. It brings to light the issue of whether or not religion can be used as a safeguard when expressing opinion as well, which is a very prominent question in what can be done in terms of social policy. Religion is a very controversial topic that many people have strong opinions about, so there is not much that can be done in protecting individuals from religious beliefs, as mad obvious by Campbell’s article. The pastor was restricted from stating such awful slanders, but then the question as to whether or not this was actually permitted was brought up. The issue with the article however, is that it did not provide enough further information and just ended somewhat abruptly. As a reader, it would have been beneficial to learn more of what the organization may intend to see as a result from the topic at hand. Human Rights Watch. (2011, December 5). South Africa: LGBT Rights in Name Only?
Human Rights Watch is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that focuses on defending human rights of people all around the world. Their staff is made up of many professionals in the domain of human rights, such as lawyers, journalists, experts, and a diversity of academics. Their work is part of social policy as they are an NGO that focuses on bettering the lives of those affected by development issues such as poverty. Their article on LGBTI rights in South Africa focuses on the violence that LGBTI individuals experience in their daily lives. The article specifically focuses on the lives of lesbians and transgender men. Many people were interviewed by Human Rights Watch to share their stories of discriminatory abuse, and the article focuses on a few particular examples. Many of the interviewees stated that when they sought justice for what had been done to them, police did not respond with much sympathy, in some cases individuals were even harassed and ridiculed. Their article includes three recommendations that they want to give to the South African Police Department, National Prosecuting Authority, and the department of education (Human Rights Watch, 2011). This article is extremely important to the research on LGBTI rights in South Africa as it highlights the severity of sexual-orientation based violence in South Africa, including that of violence from authority. This article states that social policy is in place here as this is an NGO working towards improving the lives of those affected by violence, however it also proves that public actors such as the police department, are part of the problem. As made evident by this article, some people are doing enough, whereas others continue to contribute to a very devastating problem. Oxfam. (2013, December 02). Defending the Rights of Women in South Africa.
Oxfam is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that centres on addressing the factors that make people poor and working towards development in these areas. This includes diminishing discrimination and inequality and providing an increase in access to food, water, and employment (Oxfam, 2013). This article and organization has a policy tool as NGOs are an actor in implementing social policy and their goal is to improve the quality of life for those in an underdeveloped country. The article provided by Oxfam about LGBTI rights in South Africa centralizes on the stories of Funeka Soldaat, a woman who was beaten by police after going to them to report being raped, and Zoliswa Nkonyana, a 19-year old woman who was killed. Both of the women in the stories were lesbians, which was known to the public and was found to be the motive behind the assaults.
Oxfam argues that although it will take time, there is hope for a brighter future due to increased changes in attitudes towards LGBTI rights and the development of movements such as the Free Gender organization. The Free Gender organization demands justice for those who experience discrimination-based violence due to sexual preference (Oxfam, 2013). This source is interesting due to the fact that it highlights concrete examples of issues where sexual orientation-based violence did occur with tragic results, but there have been measures taken to ensure that there is movement in the right direction. Often times, there are suggestions about progress away from these violent situations, but no concrete results. This differs from the article by Oxfam due to the Free Gender movement and the Triangle Project. The source effectively explains the goals for the future and ways in which this type of violence will be targeted hopefully abolished.
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