The political representation of LGBTI+ persons in parliaments and their participation in elections is crucial for improving human rights and building robust democracies, as highlighted in the new UNDP publication, ‘Building Inclusive Democracies: A Guide to Strengthen Participation of LGBTI+ Persons in Political and Electoral Processes’.
Drawing from experiences in over 80 countries, primarily from the Global South, the publication identifies opportunities for enhancing the participation of LGBTI+ persons in elections and underscores the importance of embracing sexual and gender diversity in political processes.
IMPACT OF REPRESENTATION
The publication reveals that LGBTI+ representation in elective office positively influences the adoption of legislation and policies that recognize fundamental rights.
Sarah Lister, Head of Governance at the UN Development Programme (UNDP), stated that the publication would serve as a springboard for targeted activities to further integrate the political participation and rights of LGBTI+ persons in its governance and electoral programming.
As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, this milestone publication aims to foster inclusive governance, a proven means to promote stability, peace, and progress across the Global Goals.
VOICES OF THE LGBTI+ COMMUNITY
Malin Björk, Member of the European Parliament, emphasized the importance of strengthening the participation of the LGBTI+ community in elections and politics to enhance democracy.
PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES
Significant progress has been made in recent years, including a decrease in the number of countries that criminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships. However, in countries where discrimination persists, LGBTQI+ people face the risk of arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment.
POLICIES AND REFORMS
Policies guaranteeing the right to vote for trans and non-binary persons without discrimination have been promoted in several countries, but further reforms are needed to ensure equality in the exercise of political rights and participation of LGBTI+ persons.
Lluís Juan Rodríguez, author of the publication, asserts that all members of society share the responsibility to listen to the voices of LGBTI+ citizens and support their meaningful participation in democratic processes worldwide.
VIOLENCE AGAINST LGBTI+ PERSONS
Despite global progress, hate speech and information pollution have led to an increase in violence against LGBTI+ persons in political and electoral processes in some contexts.