Lesbians to attend talks at Parliament

iol news pic Jeff Radebe dec15 Sapa MinIster of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe has invited lesbian rights group Luleki Sizwe for a discussion on action against "corrective" rape. Photo: Sapa

MinIster of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe has invited lesbian rights group Luleki Sizwe for a discussion on action against “corrective” rape.

The discussion is scheduled to take place at Parliament tomorrow, although Radebe has not confirmed his attendance.

So-called corrective rape, a crime apparently meant to “cure” lesbian women or “turn them straight”, has been on the increase throughout Africa and, to a lesser extent, other parts of the world.

Last year Luleki Sizwe launched an international petition against corrective rape and in 100 days gathered more than 170 000 signatures from 163 countries.

The organisation hopes tomorrow’s meeting will push the ministry to commission research and develop and implement a national action plan to stop violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual people.

Ndumie Funda, founder of Luleki Sizwe, said action against corrective rape was long overdue. “We have shown that we can mobilise tens of thousands of people in South Africa and around the world, and the ministry now knows that they can no longer ignore our long fight against corrective rape.”

The campaign is backed by Change.org and at least a dozen other women’s rights organisations. Change.org CEO Ben Rattray said this was only the start of the campaign to put an end to gender-based violence.

“We now hope the ministry sees the potential in working together with a wide range of local activists and community groups to take tangible action on corrective rape.”

A public rally will be held outside Parliament before the meeting at 10am. - Sunday Argus


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