December 15 2022 GM
Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IF Square on the TCU Mattermost, at 9am EST / 2pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.
Date: Thursday, December 15th
Time: 9am EST / 2pm UTC
Who: Laila Yahaya
Where: On TCU Mattermost "IF Square" Channel.
- Don't have an account to the TCU Mattermost? you can request one following the directions here.
SRHR for LBQT Persons
One Love Sisters (OLS) is currently running a GBV hotline operation and fundraising to broaden a project scope on sexual reproductive health right by training LBQT peer educators to support the community on the needs arising on GBV, sexual violence, abuses to provide a support system for the LBQT community in Ghana due to the anti-bill laying in parliament.
Bio: Laila Yahaya (they/them) is a Black, Queer, Muslim, feminist and a human rights activist who lives their life as a political statement and as a way to create more for younger LGBTIQ+ persons to claim their spaces, own and speak up to further the movement. is an activist in the women’s, LGBTQ+ rights field and administration. They are an activist with over seven years in community change and activism whose work has positively impacts the field of gender, sexual & reproductive health, consent, LGBT+ rights and environmental activism work and they do this through artistic and feminism. They are currently the co-founder and director for One Love Sisters Ghana and doubles as the project lead as well as a facilitator for Ghana House.
Can you tell us about the SRHR helpline, why you began the SRH helpline and how long it has been running?
- The SRH/SGBV hotline started due to the lack of SRHR initiative within the LBQT community in Ghana because of a notion that LBQT persons are not at risk when it comes to STI's forgetting the fact that LBQT persons are also sexual beings who explore pleasure hence at higher risk of getting all sort of STI's.
- Due to a lack of funding, we had to start from somewhere so we started from the hotline operation on SGBV to collect cases of abuses within the LBQT community targeting 5 regions of Ghana currently.
- The anti-bill laying in parliament has made life unbearable for the entire lgbt+ community in Ghana so running this hotline enable us help our target population with emerging issues and abuses they go through with their societies by channeling them to the necessary help they need.
- We do this work in collaboration with other NGOs, allies, individual activists, state actors, health workers etc
Given the threats and hate amplified by the Anti-LGBTQ bill, how have you ensured security and safety for yourself, and helpline operators and peer trainers?
- We make sure to run digital security and safety training for all the hotline operators and share flyers within the community groups online.
- These training are being run quarterly to refresh operators.
- And also due to how violence get spread easily, we make sure of verifying cases before we follow up because there have been instances of set ups just to get hold of activists
How have you addressed the increasing online mis/disinformation especially on the SRHR of queer Ghanaians through the helpline?
By developing misinformation/stereotyping sayings and debanking them on our platforms and groups so that it gets shared to sensitize
Okay let's focus on some of the positives: What have some of the wins of the helpline been thus far?
- Some of the wins are having community members speak up against abuse and know where to turn to when the need arises
Why do you seek to expand the helpline, ie. What additional issues do you want to address through the helpline?
- We seek to expand it because currently we are operating in 5 regions and Ghana has 16 regions that have LBQT persons all over going through abuses day in and out. We know we can't do it all but there's also a need to expand the hotline to other red zones where abuse frequently happens.
- The idea was to broaden the scope in other to get trained LBQT peer educators/operators next year who can help within the Lbqt Communities in other to reduce SGBV and get access to SRHR commodities and training for our target group
How can anyone, i.e. funders , journalists, technologists etc. from the community support your organization to further develop the helpline in a much more secure way
- They can support us by sharing technically (sharing experience from such fields' successes and setbacks)
- Financially we can be supported through bank wire (currently that's the only means we get to be supported)