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IWD 24


“They Stand up for our Rights: IWD24 Campaign”.

By Benedicta Oyedayo Oyewole, IPPFAR Community Engagement and Partnership Lead 

By Benedicta Oyedayo Oyewole, IPPFAR Community Engagement and Partnership Lead 

Fau Mangore's Journey and Vision for Inclusive Activism

In celebration of International Women's Day 2024, Fau Mangore, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex+ (LGBTQI+) activist hailing from the tropical climate of Mozambique, shared their personal journey and insights into activism from the age of 18 years old. They emphasized the crucial role of community engagement in decision-making processes, offering unique perspectives on the LGBTQI+ movement and the quest for equality.

Fau defined activism as the pursuit of equality and freedom, highlighting that discrimination and stigma stem from societal perceptions and stereotypes. They emphasized that the scrutiny LGBTQI+ persons face for not conforming to conventional norms is due to visible differences, stating, "Activism, to me, means living authentically without being constantly scrutinized."

Fau reflected on a significant milestone in their activism journey, which occurred in 2014: through collaborative advocacy and dialogue, the Mozambican parliament removed articles from the penal code that criminalized LGBTIQ+ relationships. Fau expressed that this achievement validated their efforts, stating, "It was an acknowledgment that our fight had meaning. We had made substantial progress, and they recognized that being homosexual is not a crime in our country."

Fau explained that Lambda has been proactive in finding effective ways to consistently offer sexual reproductive health services to the LGBTQI+ community over the years. They achieve this by equipping organizations nationwide with the necessary tools and resources distribution to promote safety and security in sexual behaviours and practices within the LGBTQI+ community. Fau highlighted the ongoing advocacy work aimed at ensuring the sustainability of sexual reproductive health care provision, particularly for LBQ women who face intersecting layers of discrimination due to their marginalized identities.

When questioned about the personal significance of the campaign title "They Stand for Our Rights," they emphasized that it embodies the principle of "Nothing about us without us." This underscores the critical importance of directly involving those whose rights are at stake in addressing their needs. They stressed the necessity for active participation of rights holders in every aspect of decision-making and discussions concerning them.

Fau emphasized the importance of collaborative activism to promote equality and social acceptance for LGBTQI+ individuals. They highlighted initiatives such as the Stand Up Project, a collaboration between Lambda and IPPF Member Association in Mozambique, Associação Moçambicana para o Desenvolvimento da Família (AMODEFA). They noted that initiatives like that aims to facilitate cross-learning and ally-building within the sexual reproductive health and rights sphere to consistently advocate for the rights of LGBTQI+ persons in Mozambique.

In concluding thoughts on International Women’s Day 2024, Fau emphasized the need for a comprehensive overhaul of the Women’s Rights Movement to embrace cross-movement collaboration. They stressed, "Please don't fight alone. Fight with others." Fau emphasized the significance of addressing the roots of inequality through an intersectional lens and ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of equality, highlighting that true freedom comes from collective engagement.