Media and CSO advisory
For Immediate Release: March 4th, 2013
Contact for More information: Beyonce Tushabe,Transgender Equality Uganda
Cell: +256752462818 ( English)
Kikonyogo Kivumbi, Uganda Health and Science Press Association
Cell: +256752628406 ( Luganda, Kiswahili)
Kampala, March 4, 2013: As we count down to March 8th, 2013 International Women’s Day, five human rights groups in Uganda led by Transgender Equality Uganda ( TEU) have launched a week long campaign dubbed: “Gender Identity is not a CRIME!!!” to culminate in March 8th,2013 with the formal launch of the trainwomen’s movement in Uganda
The campaign has started this morning, March 4th, 2013 with a Match through the streets of Kampala by transwomen and several other activists to denounce violence against transwomen in Uganda , and a specific Demand for government and societal protection from harassment and violence .
The campaign includes a tranwomen exhibition and real life experiences sharing in Kampala. It shall seek to call on the Ugandan government and Civil Society, particularly women empowerment groups to speak out against societal and institutionalized violence meted at transgender women in Uganda.
Transgender women in Uganda are faced with high societal and institutionalized prejudices when they are mistakenly taken for homosexuals and face violence, arrests, torture, ridicule and rape.
“ We have had enough!” Ms Beyonce Karungi Tushabe, the Executive Director of Transgender Equality Uganda said Monday , of the violence transwomen face. She noted that even in lawful custody of police, transgender women face further sexual humiliation when their genitals are touched without consent to prove whether hey are men or women.
“ Pain is pain – simple – no one is immune to it. Put and end to the stigma and the pain,” Kikonyogo Kivumbi, Executive Director for UhspaUganda noted
While transwomen have freedom and rights to sexual orientation and gender identity, their unique and immediate needs are not highly articulated in women emancipation struggles and demand for rights. This vulnerability fuels HIV infection among our community, that must be addressed.
The transwomen movement shall coordinate efforts to bring to table trans women specific demands for rights in mainstream women emancipation movement, sexual advocacy rights foras and social sensitization.
“ We were born this way. I appear male, but I feel female. There is nothing I can do about it now in this extremely hostile environment like Uganda,” Beyonce, a transsexual woman herself noted.
How you can help us and join the campaign
Kindly ask your leader, whether in government or civil society to :
To prioritise and introduce transwomen rights initiatives in their rights advocacy undertakings
Ensure transwomen rights in marriage are highlighted in the current Marriage and Divorce Bill currently being debated in Ugandan parliament
Mainstream transwomen rights into gender based programmes to put an end to violence and abuse
Condemn the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2012 in its totality and demand its full withdraw from Ugandan
Parliament because it will further enslave transwomen when every one believes they are gay, and hence potential mob justice targets.
Introduce hormonal replacement therapy into public health facilities
Demand an end to sexual abuse in lawful custody for transwomen coming into conflict with the law Jailing transwomen with men is a grave human rights abuse that all women should stand up to denounce.
We need resources to do this massive tasks.
Help us construct our website and host it
Take interest in bilateral engagements between your government and Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, scanning where trans women’s rights are highlighted
Note for the Editor:
Many people in Uganda are not informed about transwomen and their unique needs. a lot of information is from anti gay groups who cause misunderstandings by claiming transpeople are all homosexuals, which is not.
Many transwomen have been assaulted. Look these links:
Visit and support transwomen: http://transgender-uganda.blogspot.com/2012/01/profile-picture-for-transgender.htl l