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Back | Programme Area: Gender and Development, Gender Justice and Development

VoiceIt: Strengthening LGBTQI+ Voices in Politics

  • Project from: 2020 to 2022

This integrated research-action project aims to enhance the inclusion of LGBTQI+ people's voices, rights and concerns in political decision-making processes in Cyprus, Greece and Italy. Research into perceptions about the discrimination and difficulties faced by LGBTQI+ individuals, the rights of LGBTQI+ communities, and the policy and legal reforms necessary for LGBTQI+ equality will form the basis for proposed action plans to tackle the priorities identified in each country. The proposed plans will be complemented by concrete actions, including an LGBTQI+ rights information and empowerment programme, as well as other initiatives to raise awareness and foster exchange of experiences and lessons learned.

Visit the main project website at www.voiceitproject.eu

The Research Issue in Context

The rights of lesbian, gay, bi(sexual), trans, queer and intersex people (LGBTQI+) are not always well respected, with LGBTQI+ individuals often facing high levels of discrimination, harassment, violence, hate crimes and victimization. While many societies increasingly speak the rhetoric of equality and diversity, public attitudes of intolerance and political decisions can quickly undermine any progress that is made by LGBTQI+ individuals and organizations.

This is a challenge not just from a rights-based perspective but also in terms of sustainable democratic governance, which is achieved only when each and every citizen can participate in political processes and represent their views, values, interests and concerns. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the European Union Strategy on Gender Equality both acknowledge the right of LGBTQI+ people to political participation as a necessary step to achieving social, economic and political inclusion of all, gender equality, human rights and sustainable democratic governance. Yet representation of LGBTQΙ+ individuals in politics is limited in most countries.

Project Objectives

Equal rights for the LGBTQI+ community cannot be achieved without the active participation of members of that community, and VoiceIt aims to help amplify the voices of those who wish to participate in processes of democratic representation. In doing so the project will also raise awareness of the benefits of inclusive participation and everyone's right to be heard by government officials, representatives of political institutions, parliamentarians and the general public. Specific objectives include:
  • contributing to the inclusion and participation of LGBTQI+ individuals in political decision-making processes
  • co-creating a shared vision regarding LGBTQI+ inclusion in politics
  • strengthening national/international networks for LGBTQI+ individuals interested in participating in the political decision making process
  • raising the awareness of political parties and bodies regarding the importance of promoting gender equality with a focus on LGBTQI+ rights

Research Beneficiaries

  • Representatives of LGBTQI+ organizations
  • State/government officials and representatives of political institutions
  • Civil society representatives and the general population
  • LGBTQI+ individuals

Outputs and Activities

This is an integrated research-action project, in which research is designed, carried out and disseminated in ways that ensure its relevance and uptake in advocacy, awareness-raising and action by the project's NGO partners and broader networks of stakeholders.

Outputs and activities include:
  • conducting research and producing national reports on the status of LGBTQI+ rights
  • producing a final policy report on strengthening LGBTQI+ voices in politics
  • setting up National Priority Working Groups to create a shared vision of LGBTQI+ rights
  • developing an LGBTQI+ Rights Information Programme for civil society, state/government officials and representatives of political institutions
  • developing an LGBTQI+ Rights Empowerment Programme for LGBTQI+ individuals, advocates of LGBTQI+ rights and other relevant professionals
  • organizing LGBTQI+ Rights Information and Empowerment Seminars
  • organizing empowerment activities for relevant stakeholders

Project Partners and Website

  • Kentro Merimnas Oikogeneias Kai Paidiou-KMOP (Social Action and Innovation Centre): Athens, Greece
  • Accept-Lesbies, Omofylofiloi, Amfisexoualikoi, Trans (Loat) Kypros (Accept LGBTI): Lefkosia, Cyprus
  • Anziani E Non Solo Societa Cooperativa Sociale: Carpi, Italy
  • UNRISD: Geneva, Switzerland

Visit the main project website at www.voiceitproject.eu

UNRISD's Role in the Project

UNRISD has a advisory role, bringing to the project its long-standing expertise on gender, inequality, political decision making and participation, and social and political inclusion. It will link the project to global debates on LGBTQI+ rights and leaving no one behind in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, and draw lessons from the project for the Global South. UNRISD will also use its research communications expertise to support project partners in outreach, communication and impact activities. Concrete activities include:
  • participation in project meetings and the final transnational conference
  • providing inputs and advice to work package leaders
  • production of research outputs such as working papers, policy briefs, blogs.


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