02 Apr 2013, Posted by INEND in INEND

The role and importance of governance wherever human populations exist cannot be overstated. It is not easy to dispute that problems associated with poor human development are, to a great extent, largely caused by poor governance. How a country is governed plays a critical role in whether the people within its jurisdiction will be empowered or disempowered by the leadership through the environment created.

Discriminatory laws and socio-cultural constructed norms continue to marginalize and exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Intersex, and gender-diverse persons from education, health care, housing, employment and occupation, and basically dignified lives! This environment of exclusion leads to violence and inequality of opportunity and access to resources.

LGBTQ+ issues are weaponised by political and religious leaders to the masses depicting the community as a threat to national cohesion, culture, traditions, religion or simply being a non-issue and giving ”socio-economic” issues priority over the protection of human rights

The fundamentalists rise at the expense of sexual and gender minorities, challenging advances, and preventing the development of laws and policies inclusive of LGBTQ+ people disseminating social prejudice and misconceptions about the nature and moral character of LGBTQ+ persons.

#QueeringTheBallot Coffee Forum was seeking to chat on the importance of Understanding Leadership and Good Governance and how that would look like for the Sexual And Gender Minorities in Kenya.

During the first session that we held pre-elections, we had In-depth discussions on elective positions the Leaders were to vie for and their particular mandates/roles. We also highlighted how LGBTQ under the special groups should politically Positions ourselves to ensure inclusion in the elective positions of power.

After the ballot day, the elective leaders were announced and the presidential elections dispute was taken to court. The Supreme Court of Kenya’s ruling settled that the results of elections held on August 8th, 2022 were to be upheld. What followed after was a lot of anxiety in the new political dispensation and LGBTIQ+ rights and privileges in Kenya after some homophobic remarks from the President-elect in the past emerged.

#QueeringTheBallot decided to embark on a campaign dubbed #KnowYourRights , with an aim to inform the community that Regardless of who is in power, the Constitution and other legal protections remain in place as INEND, we felt the need to have another ‘Mahamri’ and ‘Chai‘ post-elections discourse.

The community voted using various approaches which we all respect as they felt the leaders would represent them in their various capacities. There were some who before the first session did NOT want to vote but they, later on, were convinced that they would not relinquish their power.

We mapped various leaders in the coast region who advocate for Human Rights and are allies and how to access them in case we are in need.

There was a unanimous decision to give the current office 100 days and see the changes they are to make and the paths they are to take albeit reluctance from some members of the community who pointed out that the past informs the present and the future.

Here is an article we came across depicting further the Importance of Representation & Rights.

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