Access Chapter 2 launches ground breaking report on the lives and experiences of transgender women in South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa – LGBT Rights NGO, Access Chapter 2 launches a report on transgender rights and lives in South Africa. The report will be launched tomorrow as part of the I Serve Equally Campaign: Trans Edition. The report chronicles the experiences of transgender women when it comes to accessing services with various government departments such as Department of Health, Home Affairs and Education. The campaign, which was initially launched in 2015, will henceforth call to various government officials, political leaders and members of the public to commit to equal service and treatment and to ensure that transgender people have full access to their rights and services.

Last week The World Health Organization (WHO) has made history and removed gender dysphoria from its list of ‘mental disorders’. The WHO approved the major change to its global manual of diagnoses on 25 May 25. It comes after WHO introduced it as a change last year in the latest. International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD is described as ‘the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions’. The latest revision is known as ICD-11.On 25 May WHO’s World Health Assembly voted to make the revision. That revision no longer recognizes gender non-conformity and transgender as ‘mental disorder’.

The Executive Director of Access Chapter 2, Steve Letsike said “Not that long ago, many of us thought that South Africa was heading in the right direction on issues affecting LGBTI people, with bumpy humps along the way. The challenge remains that many more people are still left behind, and that is the transgender community. The research released by Access Chapter 2 we see more evidence that very little approach and very little effort to respond to the needs of LGBTI persons. It remains imperative that Government steps forward with equal services, equal treatment and equal opportunities. Trans persons matter, and we as AC2 stand up to raise the voice of trans people. We cannot remain silent when a continued injustice happens in front of us. The research represents the lived experiences and the launch aims to call for accountability by the State and by other stakeholders!”

The findings of the report will be shared for the first time in Pretoria at Burgers Park at 9am amongst the attendance from the Department of Health, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Social Development, Department of Justice and other Stakeholders, and the launch of the Campaign will happen in the evening of the 6th, at State Theatre in Pretoria at 17h30.

The #IServeEqually Campaign aims to bring awareness to the struggle of Transgender people in their diversity who are stigmatised, face discrimination and often are secondarily victimised when accessing services in both the public and private sector. The campaign serves to stand up, defend and promote fundamental freedoms and equality for ALL. #IAmChapter2, is based on the organisational name Access Chapter 2 and most importantly named after the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution. #IAmChapter2, targets every citizen and every service provider to know their rights and responsibility. The campaign urges everyone to promote, protect and fulfil human rights obligations by encouraging ALL to participate in human rights campaigns.
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For Media and Interviews
Motlatsi Motseoile/ Access Chapter 2
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