In February 2017, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) celebrated the power of our activism as African feminists and women human rights defenders with the publication of eight (8) case studies from organisations in Southern Africa who are working to advance a range of rights related to accessing healthcare.
Activists from our separate and collective work were brought together to generate ideas and activism about advancing access to services, resources and rights, including but not limited to access to health and health services. These activists were from a range of organisations including sex workers, women living with HIV, young women, lesbians, transdiverse people, gay men and men who have sex with men and bisexual people. In all, over one hundred and forty activists participated in the eight workshops. The workshops were hosted in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe between September and early November 2016.
To advance this goal in 2016, CAL designed, developed and implemented a series of workshops using a mix of methodologies beginning a series of conversations about embedding the principle and practice of learning in and through our work and activism in order to strengthen the possibilities of African people to access social justice with a focus on access to health. The work was led by CAL. The three networks, African Sex Workers Alliance, Southern Africa Trans Forum, African Men for Sexual Health and Rights, made input into the design and organised with their members and partners for representatives to participate in the workshops.
These case studies are the collective work of:
- Center for the Development of People (CEDEP)
- Community of Women Living with HIV [CW Lesotho]
- Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
- HealthPlus 4 Men (HP4M)
- Transbantu Association Zambia (TBZ)
- Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL)
These case studies are an important and collective contribution to the thinking, organising and work around access to healthcare for key populations in Southern Africa. They are an important expansion on conversations around what challenges organisations that serve communities with non-normative sexualities and gender expressions face, and how these organisations have worked to address these challenges.
The countries that these case studies focus on are:
To ensure more effective organising for access to health we must:
- Hone and sharpen our thinking and analysis and generate the best possible ideas for this work;
- Work at the personal and interpersonal level to inspire each other and those we must influence towards greater accountability for delivery of and access to quality health care;
- Persuade, pressure, hold accountable and force institutions to do what they are supposed to do to deliver services that are respectful of everyone’s dignity, autonomy and freedom;
- Name, expose, confront and destabilise the systems that determine and constrain investments in the public health system in Africa and force them to end policies and practices that prevent us from accessing and enjoying health.
Please share with us via firstname.lastname@example.org, any additional information you have or might like to contribute towards this call to Make Access Real!