Schooled on sexual equality

March 25, 2017

Sexual minorities – people who identify as, among others, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer LGBTIQ+ – enjoy very few legal protection in Africa. In some countries, “homosexual acts” are criminalised and may even carry the death penalty. South Africa is the only country on the continent that has enshrined the rights of sexual minorities in its Constitution. But for many this doesn’t translate into genuine protection and support. The Conversation Africa’s Education Editor Natasha Joseph asked Dr Annamagriet de Wet how these rights can be realised. The Conversation

People’s right to identify by any sexual orientation is enshrined in South African legislation. But you argue in your research that sexual equality isn’t something that can just be understood in terms of formal legal rules. What do you mean by that?

It’s important to understand that when we think and talk about equality only in terms of what the law says, we may be misled to believe sexual equality exists only because the law says so. People might even feel there’s nothing more to do than merely to acknowledge sexuality rights.