The Global context for LGBT people
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The global context for LGBT people

The legal context for and lived experiences of LGBT people differ greatly around the world.

In the past 25 years, progress for LGBT rights has been made in many countries while others have become more repressive. However, huge challenges remain on a global level, and LGBT people face discrimination everywhere.​

  • In more than half the world, LGBT people may not be protected from discrimination by workplace law. This means that LGBT employees can be rejected for jobs, overlooked for promotion or fired for being who they are.
  • Most governments deny trans people the right to legally change their name and gender from those that were assigned to them at birth.
  • Only six countries allow trans people to self-determine their legal gender. Other countries that give trans people the right to legally change their gender have invasive requirements in place, such as forced sterilisation, other medical interventions or mental health assessments. 
  • In more than 70 countries, it remains illegal to have sex with a person of the same sex. The death penalty is either ‘allowed’, or evidence of its existence occurs, in 8 countries.
  • The UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity found that LGBT and gender non-conforming people face the near certainty of suffering violence during their lives.

Multinational employers have a huge responsibility to keep their LGBT staff safe and supported wherever they work. Stonewall’s Global Workplace Equality Index helps organisations navigate the global context and make progress towards LGBT equality in the workplace and beyond.

View sources and learn more about the global context for LGBT people: