Top Ten Wins #1: Activists in India Achieve an Historic Win for Gay Rights; In Nigeria, A Step Forward

Each year IWHC issues a publication highlighting the “Top Ten Wins for Women’s Health and Rights” for that year. This week on Akimbo, we’ll be unveiling our latest picks for the top ten wins for women’s health and rights of 2009. Click here to view the list from last year.

At the beginning of July, the High Court of Delhi, India struck down Penal Code 377, overturning a colonial-era law criminalizing consensual gay sex.  In March, a similar law banning all expression of homosexuality in Nigeria stalled in the country’s lower house of parliament.  IWHC has helped secure global human rights that include the right to control one’s own sexuality. We supported the many brave and persistent advocates in India and Nigeria who secured these 2009 wins.

What’s next: The repeal of Penal Code 377 presently only applies to India’s capital city, and the Indian Supreme Court has not yet decided the case on a national level. Human rights advocates throughout India, including our partner CREA will continue to advocate for the decriminalization of homosexuality nationally and ensure that LGBTQI communities are better informed about their rights.

UgandaAlthough the law in Nigeria was defeated, new, similar bills are taking shape. In Burundi, for example, the Senate rejected a proposed amendment to criminalize homosexual conduct, only to see the bill sent back to the national assembly in April by the President, where it was passed.

In Uganda and Rwanda, proposed anti-gay legislation would egregiously violate basic human rights if enacted.  IWHC will continue to work with our partners in Africa and around the world to help secure human rights—including the right to control one’s own sexuality.

Find out more: Recently, in Cameroun, IWHC partner Sébastien Mandeng, vice-president of the Association for the Defense of Homosexuality (ADEFHO), was illegally detained for “promoting homosexuality.” Read his blog entry highlighting the need for sexual rights.



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