Department of Global Development Studies


Global Development Studies

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2017 Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Annual Conference

Friday June 2, 13:30-15:00 | Room: TRSM 3-129, Ryerson University

Panel:  Changing Environments, Gender, and Sexuality

Presenter/Chair:  Marc Epprecht, Queen’s University

Title:  Sexual rights = environmental rights: an emerging strategy for African lgbtiq


Great progress around the world has been made to achieve protection for people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) since activists first coined the slogan “gay rights are human rights,” notwithstanding continuing setbacks and brutalities against lgbtiq people. Even the concept of “gay rights” now strikes many as anachronistic and unhelpful. Among African activists today, a wide consensus holds that struggles for SOGIE rights must be embedded in more general human rights struggles, notably, for gender equality, for basic economic, health and food security, or against states’ anti-democratic tendencies like corruption and authoritarian rule. Green or environmental issues are also beginning to be acknowledged as a strategic option to empower sexual minorities. In this paper, I would like to explore the potential for SOGIE rights activists to incorporate a green, even “de-growth” perspective into their work, hence to position themselves to play a leadership role in a movement that could bring benefits to the majority population in tandem with the expansion of economic opportunities and human rights for sexual minorities.