Democracy is rooted in the equal and empowered inclusion of all citizens in the governance of their countries. Yet lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) people around the world face significant barriers to participating in the political process and to living free and equal in dignity and rights. For example, nearly 70 countries criminalize private consensual same-sex conduct, leaving LGBTQI+ individuals vulnerable to arrest, blackmail, extortion, discrimination and violence. In dozens more countries, laws restrict the freedoms of expression, assembly and association of LGBTQI+ people and their allies.
In recognition of the unique barriers to participation that LGBTQI+ people face, IFES takes a nuanced, informed approach to LGBTQI+ program design and implementation. IFES provides technical assistance to civil society organizations, as well as to governments and election management bodies on how to ensure LGBTQ people can meaningfully participate in electoral processes and political and public life. IFES recognizes that working with LGBTQI+ individuals requires a Do No Harm approach due to security risks, legal barriers, and cultural sensitivities.
Explore our resources linked here to learn more and get involved.