Safety of women and children must include the LGBTIQ community

CATEGORY: General
DATE: 7 December 2018

Human Sciences Research Council


Pretoria, Thursday 6 December 2018 – Coming during the annual commemoration of the 16 Days of Non Violence Against Women and Children campaign, the Human Sciences Research Council today met with civil society and government representatives to talk about amongst others, violence and the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) community.

This discussion is crucial if society is to become more accepting of citizens – male and female – who do not conform to a particular gender or sexual identity while making the country safer and more socially inclusive. 

Speaking about why this issue must be urgently confronted, Professor Finn Reygan from the Human and Social Development (HSD) research programme said, “The fight for a society where gender based violence, and other forms of discrimination, no longer exists will be incomplete without a discussion on the rights and safety of the LGBTIQ community.  More importantly, the discussion must be supported with real programmes aimed at changing attitudes, perceptions and behaviours to make our families, communities and indeed the country safer and more inclusive for all our citizens.  This is no less than the Constitution of South Africa demands.”

“We are pleased therefore that today’s discussion, though  exploratory, was attended by a representative from the Department of Social Development, Access Chapter 2 (AC2), Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) and Triangle Project.”

Michelle Boonzaaier from Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) said, “The role of religious fraternity cannot be underestimated in driving change in societies.  IAM is therefore very pleased to be part of this exploratory discussion and we are confident that by working together going forward, government, civil society and the academic community can begin do the work and implement the programmes to change society.”

Steve Letsike,  SANAC co-chair and Founding Director of Access Chapter 2 (AC2) said, “It is very encouraging that following the recently held Gender Based Violence Summit that this discussion is taking place.  Such exploratory discussions sometimes give rise to really big movements for change and this initiative is very exciting. This change ultimately must find expression in communities, and means moving policy to action as community matter. All sectors have a role to play in creating the much needed changes in society.”

Matthew Clayton from Triangle Project said, “Civil society is pleased to lend its voice to this discussion aimed at strengthening the trilateral relationship between government, academia and civil society to ensure we develop, and more importantly, implement the programmes that will really begin to change the character and texture of South African society.  We cannot continue to collectively criticise the state of our society and particularly the lack of safety of the more vulnerable in our citizens.  We look forward to the work that will be done going forward.”

This exploratory discussion will be part of an ongoing dialogue and appropriate interventions, including programmes aimed at changing attitudes, perceptions and behaviours.

Spokespeople are available for interviews.

Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Manusha Pillai
Mobile:  082 389 3587
Email: MPillai@hsrc.ac.za