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Donate to Support #EqualityinTanzania

by LGBT Voice of Tanzania
Donate to Support #EqualityinTanzania

I would like to extend our gratitude to our supporters, friends, allies and well-wishers who stood with us and gave us the opportunity to write an LGBT history in Tanzania that will never fade

Today in an ideal world, all of us here would be doing something else. In an ideal world equality would be something given. It would be not be something we need to fight for. Sadly, we don't live in an ideal world. We’re fighting for equality on a daily basis, wherever you're from.  And I want to tell you that you are our ally in that struggle, on a daily basis. The work you’ve done in the last ten years is really impressive.  Let`s celebrate the ten-year anniversary of LGBT Voice Tanzania. The organization has grown, enormously

This day is a time for all of us to reflect about the meaning, importance and need for human rights. It is an occasion for the government and people of Tanzania to re-commit themselves to the spirit and letter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which we are a signatory.

It`s very sad that in this country LGBT people face prejudice and discrimination from their family, friends, and also from a wider society. The homophobia is still  continuously causing extreme harm and disruption to people’s lives, many LGBT people  become homeless, lose their jobs , some are violently attacked on the street  and some have been forced to flee this country and become refugees in other countries,  and some of us who risk our lives face  arbitrary arrests forced anal exams and dentations without

We started this struggle  on the  27th September 2009  with one goal of fighting for  dignity and Justice for all of us, which  is especially important for the LGBT community in Tanzania particularly in the wake of increased  government sponsored backlash and resistance, which have resulted in mass hateful uprisings, direct harassment, violence intended to silence activists advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in Tanzania. These violations deprive sexual minorities of the dignity and justice guaranteed to all peoples under the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the Constitution of Tanzania.

As we celebrate ten years of existence , the LGBT community in Tanzania recommits to working towards a more inclusive and tolerant society that will ensure that every Tanzanian lives in peace and with dignity, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We emphatically stress on this day that LGBT rights are human rights and not special rights.

LGBT VOICE stress that human rights as stipulated by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights are God-given and inherent. It is a violation of those God-given rights to witch-hunt LGBT individuals and makes us scapegoats for all the moral and social problems that the nation is contending with. It is a violation of our human rights to deny us the right to live peacefully and contribute to the social, economic, and political progress of our country. It is also a violation of our human rights to deny us the right to access appropriate health care and education, and force us to change from our God given sexual orientations and gender diversities.

In light of this the LGBT community denounces the government’s complacent position and continued refusal to accord LGBT Tanzanians equal access to the human and civil rights every other Tanzanian is entitled to under the Constitution, and for continuing to make same sex relationships criminal.

It is LGBT VOICE`s fervent belief that the promotion of human dignity shall remain hollow unless we transform our social and political attitudes to eliminate hate and ensure tolerance for diversity.

May God bless Tanzanian and all the LGBT in Tanzania?

September would be the month for us to celebrate our 10th anniversary in the struggle for #EqualityinTanzania, but we are not going to celebrate because we still have a long way to go before we get into celebrations. It would be great if our supports can celebrate for bringing us this far, we could not be here without you.

We have a new project named Resistance and Backlash project – the objective of this project is  working with legal reform advocates to better anticipate, pre-empt and counter resistance and backlash. The project intends to draw out learning from human rights organizations and diverse SOGIESC rights groups and advocates to develop taxonomy of resistance and backlash and to develop a report addressing different forms of resistance and backlash and counter tactics. The taxonomy will include resistance and backlash initiated by state, quasi-state and non-state actors. In engaging with human rights organizations and  diverse SOGIESC rights advocates, the project will also explore barriers and enablers to strengthen sharing and solidarity around addressing resistance and backlash. We are conducting a research and stakeholder engagement in three regions or Tanzania mainland and one region from Zanzibar in order to explore similarities and differences between experiences of legal reform advocates.

The outputs are a literature review, a formal research report that highlights the taxonomy and tactical options for legal advocates.

Advisory Group:
We have developed an advisory group - two members from each of the research regions makes up the advisory group to help inform the questions, translation of materials and source interviewees.

At least 6 interviews have been conducted in three regions of Tanzania mainland, including human rights organizations and diverse SOGIESC advocates and other individuals with key insights into or experience of resistance and backlash.

We learned that LGBT Voice Tanzania cannot walk alone in this long journey to advance equality, diversity, education, and justice for LGBT people in Tanzania and decided we are going implement our activities while we work with humanitarian and development actors and we work alongside diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expression and sex characteristics aka LGBTIQ+ communities and groups as they strengthen their capacity, advocate for their rights and engage with humanitarian and development actors. LGBT Voice Tanzania will provide a range of services including: participatory research, program design and implementation, policy and practice development, and training.

We now have to pour massive amounts of resources into this fight, because we know it’s the right thing to do and that it's the only way to break the strongholds of Homophobia and Transphobia in Tanzania. But to sustain this level of activism, we need your special support.

That’s why I’m asking you to make a long-term investment in our work for #EqualityinTanzania by stepping up as a Champion for #EqualityinTanzania. We do have a special group of LGBT Members has chosen to make a small and ongoing monthly commitment to help provide the resources we need to win this fight.

I am so happy to bring you this report. As you are all aware that defending, protecting and promoting the rights of the most vulnerable population in a community that does not recognize and accept the reality and the gift of nature that comes with differences of sex orientation and gender identity, subjects LGBT people to oppression, contempt, hate and rejection and that makes our work to be the most difficult and dangerous than usual, but thanks to your generous support we are doing very well, no turning back, thanks for backing us in this difficult struggle.

February was a very difficult month in the history of LGBT rights struggle, after experiencing another crackdown in Arusha City and Karatu town where 13 people were arrested tortured, humiliated and detained.

We continued with the training on safety and self defense in case of violence attack and this time 20 LGBT individuals benefited in Mwanza Region.

We have never had time to rest as April was another hectic month as we had to work hard to help the two LGBT individuals who were in danger and ensuring they are safe and can happily live like others, again thanks to your support and other partners Haji arrived safely in Toronto Canada on 2nd May, only legal issues remain.  Zai is still in hiding but any time soon he will be relocated to a safe place to. At the moment security issues have become a priority and we are doing all we can to keep our people safe.

Thank to our new partners who are helping us start our new Sexual Reproductive Health advocacy project. The project aims to advocate for the highest standard of health including the right to access sexual reproductive health services.  

I kindly appeal to you to continue supporting our endeavors till we get a permanent solution to our problems.

A comment from Haji: Thanks for all you have done to help, I was always afraid of getting arrested and locked up in police custody but here I`m away from the homophobes, I wish I could also help others. It`s my prayer that God will touch those haters and teach them that we are all equal, May Allah bless my country

We would like to update you on how the situation on LGBT rights in the country is. Since the recent crackdown on LGBT started in  October 2018, LGBT Voice have been working hard to ensure the safety of LGBT individuals and also to make sure the organization remains open to serve the unserved LGBT community. I would like to inform you that we have had several advocacy meetings with government officials and officials from high commissions in the country, who respect human rights and do not discriminate indivduals by their se orientation or gender idetity. Most of the government officials do have a wrong perspective and atitude towards homosexuality and do believe that Tanzania excluding LGBT Tanzanians from the life of the country and protection of the law.

But foriegn high commissions believe that what the government is doing is against the current Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

We the LGBT Tanzanians have reuested that our government review the penal code and other laws and remove all sections which criminalize homosexuality because such criminalization of a class of citizens is unconstitutional. Section 3, Chapter 12 of the Constitution states that all persons have the right to enjoy equality, humanity, identity and respect. Section 3, Chapter 13 states that all persons are entitled to equal protection under the law and prohibits any law which will discriminate because of his or her status. Section 3, Chapter 29 states that every person in Tanzania has a right to enjoy the fundamental Human Rights and the results of those Rights.

We as LGBT Tanzanians claim protection under the constitution.

  • We believe that fundamental Human Rights include the right to freedom of expression and the right to be heard.
  • The right to equality under the law.
  • The right to walk down the street without being subjected to violence
  • The right to be recognized and accepted for who we are
  • The right of equal access to education, employment and health care.

Laws which discriminate against a certain class of citizens, and a culture of stigmatization, create an underclass of such citizens. At its heart, colonialism was nothing more than a legal underpinning for the creation of and exploitation of an underclass. A just society must protect the rights of all its citizens. 

At the moment are are done with the preparations for the litigation against the government and any time the case will be filed in high court.

We therefore request you to continue supporting us in this way because we have learned that judiciary is the only way that will help speed the fight for LGBT community in Tanzania.

Amessage from one LGBT who need help:

My name is lacky and am 21 years gay, living in sinza with my so called sister.i was chased out of home with my parents and none of my close relative ever wants me near them saying that am cursed and am a bad luck.i started to live in the street because of my hardship i often go out with men so i can find a place to sleep and then when its morning again am starting to think where to go....i got raped,abused in physical and emotional mistreated in public facilities like hospital.not too long ago i got abused again when i was out of the club heading home,a bunch of guys come on me and beat the hell out of me luckily i got help from a pass by woman who help me and take me to a private hospital after that i told her my situation and i started living with her,some people are threatening her and there was a time where a government employee threatened to chased her out of the community because she is living with me,that sister also help me have a job at her saloon but in the end the landlord kick her out because of me,the society am living in is a mess they mistreat her and me when we walk....the neighborhood and i even thought of suicide but nagma who is my friend gives me hope and told there is a place i could tell all of these and helped me.

There are many LGBT individuals who need support ,some need legal support, some need accommodation and some need safety but our services are very much limited due to limited resourses we have. Please continue helping in any way you can. 

I would like to bring you some updates from Tanzania, at this moment when the Tanzania government continues to violate human rights and creating an atmosphere of violence, intimidation, and discrimination. We are so much troubled by the continued threats, arrests and harassment of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,

The state of human rights and rule of law in Tanzania is deteriorating and inhibiting, peace, and security. This makes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people fear of getting arrested and be subjected to humiliation by undergoing pseudo scientific examination for evidence of same sex.

For the last two weeks we had this busy and tuff task securing safe places for and relocating lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender individuals to hide avoid the arrests and also making sure they have the entire emergency support. When the announcement to hunt lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender people was made no one was expecting it and it just caught us in such a way that we could do nothing better than searching for safety before legal Action. We have learned to avoid confrontation and maintain a low profile which helps especially in a country where there is not rule of law. We also worked tirelessly with the foreign media to make sure the spread the word and let the world know how the dangerous it is for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Tanzania, which was very successful

 

November 7th 2018, was the Global Day of Action for the Tanzanian lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender Community, which we managed partner with Activist in New York and Tel Aviv and organized rallies that carried messages in support of lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender Tanzanians but also had good demands to the government, together with social media posts.

 Here is a sample message that was posted on Face book and twitter 

I stand with the LGBT community in Tanzania. The crackdown is unconstitutional and Violates Tanzanian and international human rights law #IStandWithLGBTinTanzania

Our main demand is that the government should act decisively to safeguard the rights of lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender individuals, civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and all people in accordance with the constitution.

I would like to sincerely thank all our supporters and donors who made sure everything went smoothly and sure, the work is still tuff, and we have just started, do not get tired of supporting us till we see full #EqualityinTanzania.

 

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Organization Information

LGBT Voice of Tanzania

Location: Dar es salaam - Tanzania, United Republic of
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lgbtvoicetz
Project Leader:
Grace Haule
Dar es salaam, Dar es salaam Tanzania, United Republic of
$29,666 raised of $50,000 goal
 
450 donations
$20,334 to go
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