On Homosexuality in Africa....

I was recently watching a documentary that addressed lesbianism in one of the townships in South Africa.  I was shocked by the conviction of the young men, as they boldly looked into the camera, declaring that the only way to “cure” lesbianism is to make the women have sex with the men. RAPE! is basically what they were prescribing as a "solution" to lesbianism. They described lesbianism as unnatural and  a  means  of undermining/emasculating the men.
The young women looked vulnerable as they shared their horror stories of the discrimination they face because of their sexual orientation. Nonetheless they were as determined to exercise their right. Ironically, this struggle is unfolding in a country where homosexuality is legal. (See the following story: S.A School closses down dorm after lesbian kiss)
I could not help compare this with the latest situation in Uganda, where homosexuality is being discriminated not only on a grass root level, but on a more public and national level, and has escalated to levels of life and death. (See the article: Fear grows among Uganda’s gay community over death penalty draft law. For those who have not yet read Uganda’s actual law on Homosexuality click here).
When I think about both cases, I realise that this is more than just sexual orientation, the inability to recognise change and diversity in Africa, in the name of protecting African culture, stagnates development in Africa, and hinders to right to exercise rights. This is what I was talking about, when discussing access to education in a previous post. Beyond public policies, we should remember to address cultural issues at the grass root level, because in some cases individuals at the grass root level are more concerned with basic survival, and are unaware of the existence of policies or even how different policies affect their lives. Some recognise their culture, and respect it more than public policies.

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