This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.
by Muna K.C., Member of the Girl Engagement Advisory Board
As the great South African apartheid leader Nelson Mandela said, “to deny people their human rights is to change their very humanity”. The quote seems equally relevant in a world where we claim to be democratic and respect human rights. The apartheid based on color is ending, however, a fierce and dangerous segregation has engulfed the world. The segregation of people based on their sexual orientation.
The cases of discrimination are so fierce that people have lost their lives. When we talk of human rights, aren’t people with a different sexual orientations humans? The time has come that we ask the governments and societies. Aren’t the people with a different sexual orientation entitled to choose a free life; a life that they can cherish, value and be themselves?
The modern day world seems highly divided and against same sex couples. But discrimination based on the sex and sexual orientation of a person is not tolerable in this so called ‘Civilized World’. Sexual orientation is a matter of private concern to a person. A person may choose to live his own of sexual life. When two partners have agreed to live together despite having the same sex, the society should not have any problem, because that’s what they choose to live with.
There have been several instances where people are driven killing themselves because they have a different sexual orientation. Recently, a movie director from Nepal committed suicide because he, according to his suicide note, was unable to make the society understand what his feelings were. To me, he did not kill himself, but instead the society killed him and the society should be held accountable for incidents like this.
There have been several instances in nations like the US, where people have revealed their sexual orientation yet they are living a dignified life. LGBT people are no less competent human beings. But in a closed and so called ‘cultured’ society like Nepal, the fact of people being homosexual is treated as unacceptable. People having a different sexual orientation are not even regarded as human beings.
One of the measures that needs to be taken is to invest on the education system and make the education system respond to this issue and convey the message that homosexuality is natural.
Lessons can be best taught other place than home. Parents and guardians should be able to understand the problem and advise their children that homosexuality is natural.
Furthermore, there needs to be policy changes. Governments around the world should safeguard the rights of all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation and gender. There needs to be provision for basic rights like acquiring citizenship no matter one’s sexual orientation or sex.
Ensuring the political participation of LGBT people and improving the legislative system to represent diverse gender identities and sexual orientation would help to minimize the stigma and discrimination. Better representation would allow them to better shape agendas that would not discriminate any of citizens based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As a young person, we are more open to issues like this. We have to act now to see a world that we want to spend the rest of our life in. We will only be able to create a just and equitable society if we take the charge of understanding the problem.