LGBTQI + Rights

UN Women stands together with, and in support of, all members of the LGBTQI+ community as we strive to ensure justice and protection for all. Human rights are universal and apply to everyone. No cultural, moral or religious belief justifies the violation of anyone’s human rights.

Diverse sexual orientations and gender identities have always existed. However, people with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations often experience homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, and face barriers to justice and the protection of their rights.

When people are left out, they can get left behind. We begin to see gaps – in wages, in economics and social opportunities, and access to leadership and decision-making positions. Excluded groups are more vulnerable to violence and discrimination. When people do not fall into a predetermined category, there is a risk of their being disregarded entirely.

UN Women welcomes the ongoing repeal of laws that criminalise homosexuality and discriminate against LGBTQI+ people in some countries. However, there are still more than 70 countries criminalising same-sex relations. Laws that prevent the open expression of LGBTQI+ identity, laws on public decency and morals, laws against sodomy, forced sterilisation and bans on public meetings are all examples of the discriminatory laws that still exist. These laws are a violation of human rights and must be changed.

Law reform alone is insufficient. We need to change the social norms that lead to the exclusion of LGBTQI+ people, that keep them living in the shadows in shame, that rupture their ties with their families and communities. LGBTQI+ people are vibrant and resilient and create their own strong families and communities.

UN Women stands for a world where LGBTQI+ people can live full and open lives, free from homophobia, transphobia, discrimination and violence.