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Mitini Nepal marks International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOTB) 2023

Mitini Nepal marks International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOTB) 2023
Mitini Nepal, a Women led non-government organization (NGO) working for the rights and dignity of Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (LBT) people since 2006, marked the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) 2023 with the global theme “Together always: united in diversity” International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOTB) is a significant global observance held annually on May 17th. This date was chosen to commemorate the momentous decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization in 1990.

The day serves as a platform to coordinate worldwide events aimed at raising awareness of LGBTQ rights violations, discrimination, and the oppression faced by LGBTQ communities globally.

It presents an opportunity to mobilize action, initiate dialogues with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society, and foster interest in the LGBTQ rights movement on a global scale. The fundamental principle that underpins this day is the recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all individuals. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights emphasizes the responsibility of every nation to protect and uphold the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of these principles in fostering freedom, justice, and peace throughout the world. This momentous decision was made after a comprehensive consultation process involving prominent LGBTIQ organizations from all corners of the world. The chosen theme holds immense significance as it not only encourages advocacy and celebrations but also fosters a sense of unity among individuals and communities. In the face of increasing challenges to the hard-won rights and progress of LGBTIQ communities globally, the power of solidarity, allyship, and community across diverse identities, borders, and movements has never been more vital. “It is during these critical times that we must stand together, embracing our differences and celebrating the strength of our diversity,” reads a statement issued by Mitini Nepal. The theme of unity in diversity emphasizes the importance of recognizing and appreciating the unique experiences, struggles, and contributions of all individuals within the LGBTIQ community. “By uniting as a collective force, we can effectively address the challenges and discrimination faced by LGBTIQ individuals worldwide,” reads the statement, adding “This theme acknowledges the immense value of collaboration and highlights the strength that comes from joining forces across various communities, movements, and identities. It is through this unity that we can truly bring about transformative change, not only for the LGBTIQ community but for society as a whole.” “As we embark on this journey, guided by the theme of "Together always: united in diversity," let us embrace the richness of our differences, recognize the power of our shared experiences, and work towards a world where every individual can live authentically, without fear of discrimination or persecution. Together, we can create a future where love, acceptance, and inclusivity prevail”, the statement further reads. This year, Mitini Nepal has celebrated the day with a grant event dividing the program into two sessions as formal and informal. In the formal session, the program was inaugurated by the Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Surendra Raj Acharya. During the formal session, a storybook "Together always: united in diversity" published by Mitini Nepal which has included the inspiring eight stories that addresses the intersectional issues of LGBTI community was also launched by the Minister Acharya. One of the LGBTQ+ couple who are living together for long and family, who has accepted the community member has also been honored. Along with this, a factsheet on “Age discrimination impacts on older LGBTI persons in Nepal” was also launched by the minister. “We dream of the world and believe that everyone has a right to realize their potential and have the opportunity to live dignified lives as no-one should be judged on the ground of their sexuality and gender identity,” reads the statement. Every segment of the society must work together as we all have the right to make decisions about our own health, body, sexuality, life without fear, coercion, violence or discrimination. LGBTQ+ people are reporting an elevated risk of domestic and family violence, increased social isolation and anxiety as well as difficulties in accessing crucial sexual and reproductive health and rights. The economic crisis is also disproportionately affecting LGBTIQ+ people till now. IDAHOTB also highlights the challenges and inequities faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people throughout the world. However, positive change is happening as the campaigns show incredible progress that is some of the major achievements have been recognized around the world.