The Center for the Development of People (CEDEP), has appealed to Malawians to join the commemoration of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
“The commemoration always occurs on 17 May every year, since 1990. This year, it will be commemorated under the theme “love makes families,” which emphasizes on how the same love which is the basis of families and harmony, is causing certain parts of the society to suffer, when they express it differently as in the case of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and identity (LGBTI) community.
Speaking in an interview, CEDEP communications officer Simeon Thodi, said his organization has lined up several activities for the Day.
Thodi said the aim of the planned activities, is to raise awareness on the negative impact of violence against members of the LGBTI community.
“LGBTI community faces a lot of problems that include prohibitive access to health services, justice, and physical violence, among others. We (CEDEP) believe this will be reduced with the activities we have planned during the day,” Thodi said.
Thodi also disclosed that the CEDEP has organized talent shows, a Miss and Mr. Diversity beauty contest, and a panel discussion to showcase to the public, the suffering that is encountered by the LGBTI community; this he said, is also one way to raise self-esteem among the community members.
In Malawi, the LGBTI community continues to have their rights violated due to religion, culture, and criminalization of same-sex relationships.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, is observed on May 17 and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights, violations, and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work, worldwide.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) at the 9th edition of the Day in 2013, commemorations took place in almost 120 countries, in all world regions.
The founders of the International Day Against Homophobia, as it was originally known, established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day, and to lobby for official recognition on May 17.
That date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the Internationa Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.