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Strengthening the capacity of transgender and intersex persons to advocate for protection of their rights

  • Amount funded: £160,000
  • Year: 2019
  • Duration: 48 months
  • Locations: South Africa
  • Grant stream: Open grants call

Transgender and Intersex persons face stigma and marginalisation which can affect access to healthcare, education, and criminal justice systems.

Project partners
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How we are helping

Supporting our partners to train 400 transgender and intersex persons to challenge discrimination and advocate for increased protection of their rights.

About the project

The 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. South Africa was also the first country to include the term intersex in its anti-discrimination laws, and the country has passed a series of laws that protect the rights of transgender and intersex (T&I) persons.

However, a gap remains between constitutional rights and protections and the realisation of these rights; transgender and intersex persons experience stigma, marginalisation, and even physical violence. Access to essential services can also be restricted.

This project will be implemented in rural areas within Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, and will build the capacity of 400 T&I persons to challenge stigma and discrimination and advocate for their rights. This will be achieved by:

  • strengthening engagement and collaboration between the T&I community, civil society, and government departments; this will include participation at quarterly meetings of the Provincial Task Team facilitated by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and engagement with healthcare practitioners
  • setting up a T&I community support and policy action group; the group will develop and implement a policy agenda and enhance linkages with support services providers for transgender and intersex persons
  • developing a confidential and accessible system (online and offline) for reporting rights violations against T&I persons; data collected will be used for evidence-based advocacy and to promote accountability and redress for rights violations
  • developing a media strategy to increase awareness and broaden the narratives on issues faced by T&I persons.

By the end of the project the transgender and intersex community support and policy action group would have acquired the relevant skills and experience to provide continued support to and engage in advocacy on the rights of transgender and intersex persons. A sustainable reporting and referral system is also expected to be in place, and it is hoped that mainstream media will present narratives that better reflect the realities of the transgender and intersex community.

Project Partners

Iranti is media-advocacy organisation that advocates for the rights of Lesbians, Gender Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) persons, with specific focus on lesbian, transgender, and intersex persons. The organisation seeks to challenge violence and discrimination based on gender identity and bodily diversity through a series of interventions, including provision of immediate community support, hate crime documentation, facilitation of community dialogues, media production, and policy advocacy.

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Governance Areas
Social inclusion