Andrea Rivas, Familias Diversas Asociación Civil (AFDA), Argentina, Education Working Group
What is the situation for LBT+ communities in Argentina?
The LBT+ community of Argentina urgently needs public policies that guarantee us real access to the rights we have recognised by the legal framework. Argentina is going through an economic crisis with high inflation and a significant budget cut in very sensitive areas for LBT+ communities, such as education and health. We want comprehensive, secular sexual education with an LBT+ and gender perspective at all levels and in all provinces of the country.
The state should not allow religious and conservative groups that are campaigning against our human rights to restrict or undermine them. The measures against workplace violence should be deepened for LBT+ people, because unemployment and instability grows when it comes to LBT+ people.
A trans labour quota and labour reform that guarantees equal parental leave are necessary! The LBT+ communities of Argentina say #NiUnaMenos (#NotOneLess). Enough of femicides: hatred towards lesbians, bi women and trans people is a murderous hatred and the state has the responsibility to eradicate this violence.
What change do you hope to see?
I hope to see our LBT+ communities increasingly empowered and leading a new wave of rights of which all of our society is going to benefit. For example, there are more and more LBT+ people who legally demand their employers and their unions give equal parental leave, and there are many successful cases in which these licenses are granted.
The pressure that is generated will soon have to be recognised in a law and this will help in closing the inequality gap. I also want to see public policies that structurally guarantee LBT+ girls and adolescents their right to sexual education which is free of violence and has an LBT+ and gender perspective. We are making society increasingly aware that the hetero-cis-compulsory sexuality is violence, and I hope that this work towards a cultural change will bring more equality!
How did you find the Expert Group Planning Meeting and collaborating with Stonewall?
The Expert Group Planning Meeting was an excellent experience which exceeded my expectations! I was able to deepen my skills in research that helps me visualise the violated rights of LBT + people in my country. There is almost no research on the LBT + population nor an awareness among organisations or public institutions of their needs to achieve real equality. That is why this global project is already empowering our communities and organisations.
The exchange of experience between activists from around the world and building a strong network is something that really stands out from my experience in London. When the efforts of organisations that share the same objectives are maximised, we are in a position to achieve the changes that are needed for our communities. This for me is critical and very useful in the political context of Latin America and the threats to the rights of LBT + people.
I must also congratulate Stonewall for the excellent organisation and warm reception they gave us at our recent meeting in London.