As Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, we note that continued homophobic language, patriarchy, discrimination and stigmatisation that lead to Gender Based Violence or Violence Against Women, have negative impacts on the girl child, women, lesbian, bisexual and transgender peoples’ access to education and decent work.

Recent statements by education officials in Bulawayo ‘condemning acts of homosexuality in schools, as unacceptable’ are irresponsible and fuel victimisation. Such statements serve as confirmation of institutionalised homophobia practiced by public officials going against the principles of articles 23 and 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

1. Everyone has the right to education, without discrimination on the basis of, and taking into account, their sexual orientation and gender identity.

2. Everyone has the right to decent and productive work, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment, without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

GALZ calls on families, parents, political, religious, cultural and traditional leaders and society at large to:

1. Renounce discrimination and language that incites violence against girls, women, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people

2. Encourage self-determination that will realize the full utilization of citizens’ capacities to build the nation

Ensure that education is directed to the development of respect, the upholding of dignity for people’s rights, peace, tolerance, and equality.