A group of Ghanaian feminists have pledged their support to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)+ Rights Ghana and queer and transgender Ghanaians everywhere.
This, the feminists say, is an assurance to the LGBT+ community that they are not unaccompanied.
“We write to show the community that you are not alone,” the statement signed by 102 feminists read.
This comes after calls from a cross-section of Ghanaians and some religious bodies to have the group’s activities halted, following a disclosure of an Accra based office launched by the group.
“We hope this statement can help other Ghanaians who feel supportive know that they do not have to be cowed by the violent rhetoric of the government, the press, and the religious sector.”
A statement by the feminists said the violence directed at the community in the wake of their office launch “demonstrates the vitriolic conditions under which queer Ghanaians live and why such a community space is needed.
“We reject the current onslaught of religious, media, and state violence meted out against queer and transgender people, who are simply asserting their God-given right to exist with dignity and safety.”
It also says: “the backlash against LGBT+ Rights Ghana follows a trend of moral panic led by the media, religious groups, and political figures.”
The feminist’s group indicated that, whenever queer Ghanaians demand rights, respect, and safety in our own country, these leaders use the guise of morality and concern to push a violent agenda.
The group also described the call for action by the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, and religious bodies alike as “harmful to queer and trans Ghanaians, and it ultimately seeks to control how all Ghanaians live, regardless of their sexuality.
“We are already witnessing the toll these attacks take on people’s lives. As a result of the recent media frenzy, many LGBT+ persons are facing increasing threats of violence online, at work and in their homes.
Community members have been threatened with evictions, forced marriage and employment termination,” the statements said Tuesday.
“As feminists, we believe that the patriarchal and colonial constructions of gender and sexuality that shape social expectations and norms not only hurt the LGBT+ community but continue to keep other marginalised groups–including poor women, sex workers, people with dreadlocks, amongst others–oppressed and constantly policed.
We align our political perspective with a radical vision of freedom and justice for all people in Ghana, which is also enshrined in our Constitution declares that recipes group declares in the each.”