Strengthening LGBTQI+’s Voice in Politics – VoiceIt

VoiceIt aims at increasing the participation and the direct involvement of LGBTQI+ individuals in the political decision making.

Grant Agreement Number: 849107

Funded by: REC        Duration: 09/2019-10/2021   


Challenge

The EU plays a leading role in promoting the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, but those are not equally ensured across all member states, with politics to be a ground that discrimination still exists. (FRA – Fundamental Rights Agency: European Union LGBT Survey, 2013).

According to International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, in order for democratic governance to be sustainable, all people should participate in political processes and represent their views, values, interests and concerns, regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, group, culture and ethnic or religious background.

LGBTQI+ individuals have a right to vote in elections, be elected to government office, serve on boards, and voice their opinion in any process that will ultimately affect them. However, in the EU, direct political participation of LGBTQI+ individuals who have come out about their sexual orientation of gender identity, is still limited. Since 1989, there have been only 9 members in the European parliament who were openly LGBT during their service (not coming out following retirement/after death), indicating an uneven representation of the community in European politics.

The political representation and participation of the LGBTQI+ community is essential for the promotion of not only LGBTQI+ rights and policies but also for the establishment of global equality.

Innovation

By involving all institutions (elected officials, LGBTQI+, politics and government representatives) in the decision-making process regarding LGBTI+ rights and individuals motivated to participate in the political discourse, VoiceIt aims at increasing the participation and the direct involvement of LGBTQI+ individuals in the political decision making.

Action

A research based on desk research and online survey will identify the existing legal framework for ensuring LGBTQI+ rights, the occurrence of discriminatory incidents, the discrepancy between the perceptions of LGBTQI+ individuals, government officials, representatives of political institutions and general public and the needs for policy reform.

The creation and work of the national Priorities Working Groups will involve the following:
·         Invitation of relevant stakeholders ( allied government officials, representatives from political institutions etc.)
·         A half-day VoiceIt information Workshop in each country with 50 relevant stakeholders. The workshop aims at informing them about the findings of the online survey, the next steps of the project and the function and responsibilities of the Priorities Working Group.
·         A half day VoiceIt Priorities Workshop with the 10 most motivated participants from the Information Workshop in each country.
·         Creation and promotion on an action plan. The Priorities Working Group will create a shared vision of the foreseeable future of LGBTQI+ rights, outline the priorities, create a national action plan and put it forward to the relevant governmental bodies.

A 1-day workshop aims at promoting the exchange of the results of the online survey in each country and of good practices on promoting LGBTQI+ rights between the partner countries.

National Priority Working Groups will share their national action plans, the process to realise them and the local campaigns strategies.

·         For civil society, state/governmental officials and representatives of political institutions.
This Programme includes information about fundamental human rights, gender equality, concepts and priorities, media/press representation and stereotypes and LGBTQI+ participation in politics to relevant stakeholders and critically civil society.
·         For LGBTQI+ individuals, advocates of LGBTQI+ rights and other relevant professionals
This Programme aims at empowering LGBTQI+ individuals to become more active in the political discourse and finding out ways of doing so (voting, activism, debating etc).

LGBTQI+ Rights Information Seminars aim at better informing stakeholders (civil society, state/government officials, representative of political institutions) on gender equality concepts, priorities and LGBTQI+ rights issues.

LGBTQI+ Rights Empowerment Seminars aim at empowering relevant stakeholders (LGBTQI+ individuals and organizations) to participate actively in the political discourse and enhance their confidence in voicing their opinions and concerns.

Empowerment activities will be realised for relevant stakeholders who participated or not in the seminars (civil society, LGBTQI+ individuals/organizations, representatives of political institutions etc). The activities can include: debates; electronic LGBTQI+ activism workshops; LGBTQI+ Activism, Technology and the Arts workshops; stand-up comedy workshops etc.

REC

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Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
ACCEPT – LGBT Cyprus (Cyprus)

Anziani E Non Solo Societa  Cooperativa Sociale (Italy)
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development  

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