The Anglo-Ethiopian Society
Lecture - Issues Relating to Same Sex Orientation in Ethiopia
Thursday 30th June 2016
7:00pm, Room G3, Main Building, SOAS, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG - Public lecture (all welcome)
Cheryl Overs is a researcher and human rights activist from Melbourne, Australia. She has worked in HIV prevention and care programmes for male, female and transgender sex workers in developing countries and supported local activists in more than 20 developing countries, including Ethiopia, working with organisations including the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
She writes, 'Although LGBT experience is hidden in the context of a state that limits freedom of expression, it is clear that the law combines with attitudes throughout the society to sustain widespread persecution of same sex attracted and gender non-conforming Ethiopians. Most suffer painful and traumatic self-doubt and suicide and self-harm are common. Most live in fear of being discovered, especially by families who are under great pressure to abuse LGBT members. This has particularly significant economic implications given the role of the family in economic life in most of the country. Another important effect of the attitude of the government, church and society to homosexuality is that the targeted HIV services needed to stem the epidemic are forbidden in Ethiopia.'
The talk will take place in the week following London Pride Week, a platform for every part of London's LGBT+ to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and campaign for the freedoms that will allow them to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing.