Enhancing healthcare services for sexual and gender minorities in Africa: more inclusive policies needed

SOURCE: HSRC Review
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2017
TITLE AUTHOR(S): N.Gillespie, F.Reygan
KEYWORDS: AFRICA, GENDER EQUALITY, POLICY FORMULATION, PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTRES, SEXUAL HEALTH
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Web link: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-july-to-sept-2017/enhancing-healthcare-services
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10157

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Abstract

Natasha Gillespie and Dr Finn Reygan reflect on the reduced health and wellbeing that sexual and gender minorities continue to experience and the need for more inclusive policies The idea that homosexuality is unAfrican is widespread in Africa. Resistance to decriminalisation of same-sex sex acts in many African countries is often underpinned by a reluctance to yield to Western pressure calling for the acceptance of sexual and gender minorities. Yet an increasing body of research by African scholars suggests that homophobic attitudes are largely driven by colonial era legislation and religious morality that continues to marginalise people who are seen as different. Emerging research on pre-colonial attitudes towards sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) shows a greater openness to social inclusion. Thus, African advocacy that strategically positions lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people as historical and contemporary members of the societies in which they live, holds the potential to create more enabling and inclusive environments for the provision of healthcare services to sexual and gender minorities that are currently severely limited across the continent.