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ILGA Panel at the 61st UNCHR
Lesbian and bisexual women: suffering multiple discrimination
The discrimination that lesbian and bisexual women face is not only connected to their gender and their sexual identity. Women also face discrimination based on their social class, religion, “race,” minority background, age, disability, etc. Lesbians have always been present in the fight against laws that discriminate against women. The Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 is a milestone for the numerous presence and visibility of lesbians in the UN fora. Yet the Beijing Declaration does not explicitly recognise lesbians as having the same rights as other women. Once again this year, in the Women’s Global Charter for Humanity released on 8 March, the rights of Lesbians are hardly mentioned at all, in spite of the fact that they are the most vulnerable.

Friday 8 April 2005 from 1 pm to 3:30 pm, Palais des Nations, 61st United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Geneva.

A panel organised by the International Lesbian and Gay Association. In collaboration with

ISHR (International Service for Human rights), RFSL (the Swedish Gay and Lesbian Federation), CHA (Comunidad Homosexual Argentina), Equal Ground (Sri Lanka), IGLHRC (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission) and FIDH (the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues).

With the financial support of the Swedish and the German Foreign Offices.

Read a short summary of the panel

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Chair ILGA Co-Secretary General Sri Lanka

Speakers (click on their names to read the speeches)

At the beginning of the women’s movement, we talked about multiple burdens, but we really never looked at until 15 years ago on the true causes of these burdens and how they were enforced by society and our communities.
Anna Leah Sarabia, Women’s media Circle, The Philippines

In Nigeria, there is a perpetuation of low value in assessing who a woman should be. In this context it is difficult to be different as a woman.
Dorothy Aken’ova, Increase, Nigeria

Aussi longtemps que la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme ne sera pas plus explicite dans les motifs de protection du droit, la tâche sera quasi impossible dans les états totalitaires ou dans les démocratie émergentes
Claudine Ouellet, Human Rights Lawyer, Canada

Control of women’s sexuality has become a fundamentalism in many parts of the world. It is frightening to see that fundamentalists disagree on religion but agree on women’s sexuality or controlling any form of conduct that contravenes any social being or cultural norm.
Susanna Fried, IGLHRC, United States of America