A Movement That Matters: Trans Rights in Lesotho

Published: November 18, 2014

The Huffington Post
Original Article:  huff.to/11hJ2BY

"There’s a lot of stigma in the general population," says Tampose Mothopeng, a human rights defender from Lesotho, who’s been described by NPR as "young, idealistic, and transsexual." He recently shared with me some of the issues the transgender community is tackling in his home country: violence and bullying in schools, a lack of access to health services, and high rates of unemployment.

Without education or employment, many are forced into sex work just to get by, he says.

But despite these and other challenges, what emerges from our conversation is a sense of a vibrant trans movement working at both the grassroots and national levels. Mr. Mothopeng, who’s Director of the Matrix Support Group, describes his organization’s different approaches to raising awareness and combating discrimination.

From speaking on radio and television talk shows to holding campaigns on body autonomy to hosting community dialogues, Matrix engages traditional leaders, teachers, and government officials in their work. When the Government of Lesotho develops national strategic plans, Matrix pushes the government to include the perspectives of LGBTI people, men who have sex with men (MSM), and other key populations.

From speaking on radio and television talk shows to holding campaigns on body autonomy to hosting community dialogues, Matrix engages traditional leaders, teachers, and government officials in their work. When the Government of Lesotho develops national strategic plans, Matrix pushes the government to include the perspectives of LGBTI people, men who have sex with men (MSM), and other key populations.

Full text of article available at link below:  huff.to/11hJ2BY

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