Zimbabwe

This report, published by The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ), covers cases of violations experienced by LBT people in Harare and Bulawayo in response to continued attacks on the bodies of Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transwomen and Transmen. Most cases are linked to public participation of LBT people in national and international processes such as 16 Days of Activism and the Constitutional Reform Process. The report also highlights challenges related to discrimination of LBT people and how these impact on establishing a family, accessing education and health for LBT people.
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Adelaide was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She completed her BA and BA Honors at Rhodes University and Witwatersrand University in South Africa, respectively. With two degrees in sociology and a minor in law, she decided to study a Master in Social Work (MSW) at Rutgers University to gain field experience. Through this degree, Adelaide completed internships at Who is my neighbor?
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JASS’ widely-recognizable symbol speaks right to the heart of women across the region. From rural activists in Northern Malawi to young women in Lusaka, the call to “cross the lines” of inequality and oppression rings true. See JASS SNA in action.
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In Zimbabwe, extreme political insecurity, repression and economic instability have made the struggle for women’s rights dangerous, draining and traumatising.
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JASS stands in solidarity with members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) community in Zimbabwe in the wake of the most recent incidents of harassment and violence committed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
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On August 20th, the Zimbabwe national police occupied the offices of GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) - a close JASS ally - after demanding entry. Officers confiscated publications and computers. This latest assault comes on the tail of nearly two weeks of aggressive harassment of GALZ members by the police in Zimbabwe, where same-sex activity is outlawed.
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Last month, a young woman stepped out of a Harare club for air, and was arrested by a plainclothes policeman on a charge of loitering and soliciting. She spent the night in a cell at the police station. A week later, writer, Tsitsi Dangarembga, was interrogated by police while waiting for friends at a restaurant. In Zimbabwe, women across the spectrum are apprehended nightly by the police under the auspices of the Criminal Law Act (2004), a far reaching tool of government repression covering everything from national security to ‘public morals’. “It’s about policing women’s bodies,” says Winnet Shamuyarira, an activist organizer.
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The F-word, “feminism,” is taboo in some spaces and arouses mistrust and criticism. That was true for Zimbabwean activist and sceptic, Fadzai Muparutsa, who spends her days doing advocacy around the L-word in “LGBTI” – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.
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Netty Musanhu is the Executive Director of Musasa Project, an organisation that implements gender-based violence programs in Zimbabwe. Bringing over twelve years of experience in women’s rights, violence against women and project management, Netty supports JASS’ Heart—Mind—Body program in Zimbabwe.
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A long-time JASS ally, GALZ is one of few LGBT organizations in Southern Africa. GALZ seeks to support and serve its members through training, health services, and ongoing public education and advocacy so that Zimbabweans and Africans generally respect the dignity of all people. 
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