Hivos East Africa

East Africa

Sexual Rights and Diversity

There are a few critical moments in the lifespan of a grant-making programme: Those moments in which you need to press pause, contemplate the journey so far, and look back at your achievements and challenges. After one year of grant-making, filled with work on designing and refining four different types of calls for proposals, reviewing over 1000 grant applications from ten countries spread out in 3 regions, Voice needed a moment to reflect on whether we have actually been engaging with the right audiences.

The Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA) organisation recently obtained official registration by the NGO Coordination board in Kenya, a step towards ensuring they operate legally without fear of intimidation.This journey started when a landmark ruling in 2014 by the High Court of Kenya ordered the NGO Coordination Board to register the group.

Hivos East Africa’s Communications Officer sat down with Audrey Mbugua to understand the transgender movement in Kenya and how the journey has been for them in respect to human rights.

This is the question we sought to answer on 5 July 2017 when we congregated in Nairobi with various stakeholders across sectors during the launch of the colorful workplaces programme. I must say I was quite nervous when we were putting this event together. I wondered how it would be received by different people especially those in the private sector. 

As we commemorate this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), I am reminded of the daily struggles and realities that sexual and gender minorities have to deal with.

The recent survey on Kenya’s teens demanding condoms has led me to reflect on societal failures. Let us for one minute shelve the blame game and focus on the adolescent girl and boy, in school and out of school, who is clearly inadequately reached and served with quality sexual reproductive health services, commodities and information. Why? You ask. Well, this is because we have chosen to invest all our energies and resources blaming each other!

Within the first week of assuming office, US President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule. Simply, this policy prohibits any entity that receives US Government (USG) funding from carrying out any abortion-related activity, regardless of the source of funds.