||Kingsley Essomeonu [ profile ]
Struggling Alone: The Lived Realities of Women who have Sex with Women in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria.
Apr 13th, 2012 - 09:14:13
Please circulate widely and download your copy of the publication.
April 12, 2012
For Immediate Release
The Queer African Youth Networking Center (QAYN) is pleased
to announce the release of a new publication: Struggling Alone: The Lived
Realities of Women who have Sex with Women in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria.
While there is a general awareness
among human rights activists, particularly women’s rights activists, sexual
rights and LGBTQQ activists and academics that there is scarcity of information
pertinent to the lives of lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, queer and women
who have sex with women (LBTQWSW) in West Africa, few have undertaken research
projects to document the lives and human rights situation of LBTQWSW. The most
common explanations provided are that “lesbians
are hard to find, or work with” or that there is no institutional funding
for such projects. Consequently,
LBTQWSW continue to quietly suffer under social and cultural practices that
suppress any alternative expressions of sexual and gender identities that do not fit into traditional expression of
From April to August 2011, QAYN conducted a five-month
research project in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria, in order to critically
document the lived realities of lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, queer and
women who have sex with women. QAYN worked in Ghana and Burkina Faso, while
QAYN’s local partner in Nigeria, Women’s Health and Equal Rights (WHER),
undertook the same process in Nigeria.
A group of volunteers engaged in interviews and focus group discussions
to uncover the challenges faced and strategies used by LBTQWSW in living their
lives as same gender-loving women. This research project was the first of its
kind to be designed and conducted by a pan-African lesbian-led group in West Africa.
As this report demonstrates, LBTQWSW in West Africa remain
some of the most marginalized, vulnerable, invisible members of the LGBTQQ
community in the sub-region. Often
out of sight, they live within a patriarchal social system and narrowed interpretations of what forms of identity,
expression and relationships are morally acceptable. These women exist; their lives and struggles are real – and
deserved to be documented.
publication is available for download on QAYN’s website, here: http://www.qayn-center.org/2012/04/11/publication-struggling-alone-the-lived-realities-of-women-who-have-sex-with-women-in-burkina-faso-ghana-and-nigeria/
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