Country Reports

Information on the conditions for LGBTI minorities in specific countries from global human rights organizations and other sources.

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“We’ll show you you’re a woman” “We’ll show you you’re a woman”

Date added: 06/07/2012
Date modified: 08/02/2012
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Violence and discrimination against black lesbians and transgender men in South Africa (2011).

The constitution of South Africa in 1996 was the first in the world to include provisions of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, however LGBT people in South Africa continue to face hostility and violence.

South_Africa_Human_Rights_Watch_-_coverSocial surveys demonstrate a wide gap between the ideals of the constitution and public attitudes toward such individuals. Negative public attitudes towards homosexuality go hand in hand with a broader pattern of discrimination, violence, hatred, and extreme prejudice against people known or assumed to be LGBT or those who violate gender and sexual norms in appearance or conduct (such as women playing soccer, dressing in a masculine manner, and refusing to date men). Constitutional protections are greatly weakened by the state’s failure to adequately enforce them.

This report documents discrimination and abuse against black lesbians, transgender men, and individuals who, while born female, do not conform to feminine gender norms and expectations. These individuals and groups experience discrimination, harassment, and violence at the hands of private individuals and sometimes state agents. HRW stress that the South African government has to take immediate steps to honor its promise of equality, non-discrimination, and a life of dignity for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgender people; failing to do so betrays the constitution, imperiling the rights of all South Africans.

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