On 18 May 2016, a bill was approved by the Parliament of Seychelles to repeal the anti-sodomy law in section 151 of the island nation's penal code. Iranti-org spoke to local activist, Ronny Arnephy on the state of LGBTI rights on the island nation. Now, almost a year later, Iranti-org revisits the situation in Seychelles with Ronny Arnephy to understand what progress has been made in the months since the ruling.
Between 19 and 21 of April, Iranti-org hosted an extensive training workshop as part of the Zwakala Project’s advocacy and activism expansion mandate. Facilitated by Nomsa Manzini of Iranti-org and funded by the European Union, the Zwakala Project works to monitor and facilitate LGBTI+ activism; and conduct skills development training at the grassroots level in Gauteng, North West and Limpopo provinces. Read more...
Due to the possibility of a NATIONAL SHUTDOWN on Friday 7 April affecting public transport in Johannesburg, we have postponed the Free Space evening to 5 May 2017. The decision was made in order to keep the event accessible to all who wished to attend. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
It is with great pleasure that we announce an historic victory against the Limpopo Department of Education for failing to intervene in the discrimination against Nare Mphela. The Department was ordered by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to pay R60 000 in compensation Mphela. Read more...
Iranti-org is deeply saddened to learn that Principal Nomampondomise Kosani of Ulwazi High School in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, forced 38 female pupils to reveal their sexual orientation in front of their peers and parents. Originally reported by Dispatch Live, the article states that the principal “refused to comment, saying how she dealt with “problems” at her school was not a matter for the media.” Read more…
International Women’s Day, 2017
Vaal LGBTI performance art at Vaal Pride 2015 showcases the ongoing silencing of African queer womxn. Photo by: Ayanda Msiza
South Africa, 8 March 2017
Today we at Iranti-org celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) once again. It is a day recognised internationally, as a time to celebrate the many social, political, cultural and economic achievements made by womxn*. It is also a time to be thankful to those who came before, paving the way for organisations such as our own. Read more...
Johannesburg Trans health conference gets introspective about representation
Iranti-org Director, Jabulani Pereira, introduces the Iranti-org’s Depathologise/Decolonise Exhibition which was set up in line with the conference’s theme. Photo by: Gugu Mandla
South Africa, 3 March 2017
The conference, organised by Gender DynamiX with the assistance of Iranti-org, focused its programme on the themes of decolonisation and depathologisation of trans spaces and identities.
South Africa, 23 February 2017
On 23 February 2016, the 3rd Biennial conference on Trans Health, Advocacy and Research kicked off.
Organised by Gender DynamiX and Iranti-org, the conference was a space for Trans and gender-diverse persons from across the continent to come together and share knowledge about the progress made and challenges faced by transgender persons around Africa.
Debates and themes of the conference include depathologising trans identities, decolonising the continent from a transgender perspective, and how to move forward in those projects.
Follow Iranti-org for more videos from the conference.
PODCAST (35 mins, 10MB): Jabu Pereira (Director of Iranti-org) and Tshego Phala (Senior Associate at Webber Wentzel) sat down for an interview with Channel Africa. Both Jabu and Tshego engaged in issues surrounding the draft Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. Pick up the interview on the link below: Listen to interview of Jabu Pereira and Tshego Phala.
Today marks once more the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), where we commemorate the trials and triumphs made in the fight for queer rights across the planet. The theme for 2017 is ‘family’. As activists and members of the LGBTI community, the day is a sad reminder of the ever-present nature of homophobia and transphobia in our country and across the world. Many of us have lost family members and loved-ones to violence and discrimination, and many tight-knit communities have been shaken by violence in recent months.
Transgender Victory in Limpopo:
Nare Mphela's Story
South Africa, 31 March 2017
In 2014, Iranti-org made contact with Nare Mphela, a high school learner in Limpopo Province who faced multiple forms of discrimination from her school principal due to her gender identity.
Now, three years later, the Equality Court has ruled in Nare's favour, having found the principal and Limpopo Department of Education to have breached the Equality Act. This is an historic victory for queer South Africans nationwide!
Iranti-org wishes to convey our excitement at the two new appointments to the staff of the International Trans* Fund (ITF).
We congratulate Broden Giambrone, who led the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) for six years; and Kim Mukasa, co-founder of Trans Network Uganda, on their appointment to the ITF team, as inaugural staff members. Read more...
VACANCIES at iranti-org
Iranti-org Writer and Social Media Officer
Iranti is looking for a Writer and Social Media Officer starting no later than
1 May 2017. The officer will be working from Iranti’s office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Start date: 1 May 2017. This position is a 1 year contract.
Iranti org salutes Sally Gross
(22 August 1953-14 February 2014)
South Africa, 15 February 2017
Sally Gross was a spiritual and human rights pioneer whose life’s work included being born Jewish, being a Catholic priest, a Buddhist, a Quaker, a Communist and exiled anti-Apartheid activist and a pro-Palestinian and intersex activist. Read more...
In October 2016, the draft Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill was introduced into the public domain. Differing significantly from previous criminal legislation, the Bill makes provisions for the prosecution of both hate crimes and hate speech.
In the introduction of the Bill to the public, Justice Minister Michael Masutha explained that, “A hate crime is committed if a person commits any recognised offence that is a common law or statutory offence... and the commission of that offence is motivated by unlawful bias, prejudice or intolerance.”
The Bill goes further in criminalising hate speech, which it defines as the intentional communication or advocacy of hatred towards a person or group with the aim of inciting violence or harm. The communication of ‘contempt or ridicule’ over public online platforms is also outlined as a crime.
Although the Bill claims to provide for the prevention of hate crimes and hate speech, as well as reporting on the implementation, its application and administration as an integrated approach from government is unclear.
In order to create a forum for the LGBTIQ sector to engage on issues pertaining to the Bill, Iranti-org, in collaboration with the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), hosted a public engagement on the Bill, on the 11 November 2016. The engagement was attended by over one hundred individuals and organizations from across South Africa. A panel discussion formed the centerpiece of the event, where various academics, legal experts and activists made presentations and engaged with the audience on the Bill. The discussion led into a lengthy and robust debate. Concern was tabled around the deadline given by government in which to respond. The current deadline is 31 January 2017.
Iranti-org is part of a call from the LGBTI sector to extend the deadline for public comment to the end of June 2017 to allow for public comment, and a petition in this regard is being drawn up.
Iranti-org is a dedicated regional media and advocacy platform for lesbians, gender non-conforming, trans and intersex persons and their organisations.
Iranti-org is interested in creating a round table discussion on radio and other media platforms, with government and other parties affected by the Bill. Iranti-org believes this to be in the public’s interest.
By Iranti-org, South Africa, 26 January 2016
We are deeply troubled by the comments of Pastor Dag Heward-Mills’ sermon last Sunday at Grace Bible Church in Pimville, Soweto. His sermon, in which he called homosexuality unnatural, is indicative of a deeper conflict between constitutional values and views expressed across many different religious institutions in the country today. South Africa exists in a time where legislatively, bigotry, intolerance and hate are condemned and disavowed, but where the lived realities of marginalised groups stand in stark contrast with the ideals of equality and dignity for all. The comments by Pastor Heward-Mills feed into the undercurrent of violence and discrimination against same-sex couples in particular.
The separation between public and private is a crucial separation to maintain in the struggle for equality. Arguments supporting Pastor Heward-Mills’ utterances as free speech need to take into account the public context in which he made them, and the telling applause that followed from the community – a community made up of nurses, teachers, doctors, judges, social workers, and families. In a country struggling with wide-spread homophobia and transphobia, denial of services, and ostracisation based on an individual’s sexual orientation, we cannot afford to be casual in our response to Pastor Heward-Mills’ sermon. South Africa has the troubling trend of overlooking infringements on human rights on the basis of ‘conscience’, or belief, even for public servants, such as is the case with Section 6 of the Civil Union Act. This trend introduces and maintains an apartheid around issues of sexual orientation, in an effort to appease religious groups. South Africa would not tolerate similar behaviour, policies, or public utterances with regards to any of the other prohibited grounds for discrimination as defined in the Bill of Rights, such as race – even in a church.
In June 2016 the country watched in disbelief while Sodwana Bay Guest House owner, Andre Slade, tried to defended his racist remarks using Bible verses, saying the Bible advocated segregation of black and white people. He also compared what he saw as differences in biology; pseudoscience similar to Pastor Heward-Mills’ false assertion that homosexuality does not exist in nature. People’s interpretations of religious texts are indeed their own prerogative, within their private domain. The problem is when those interpretations are clearly bigoted and discriminatory, and voiced in the public domain.
South Africa needs to have an honest internal reflection on how it can continue to ask the LGBTI community, or any other marginalised group, to leave their inherent dignity and equality at the doors of religious establishments, and why certain institutions and policies seem to be above the highest law in the land – our constitution.