CSW63 side event “Inclusive Public Services for LGBT+ Persons”

During the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Canada and the United Kingdom hosted a side event on “Inclusive Public Services for LGBT+ Persons”, a panel discussion featuring senior government representatives and civil society leaders from various regions.

The side event was an opportunity to discuss persistent challenges and barriers for LGBT+ persons in accessing public services, including health services; recent initiatives/best practices to advance the human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBT+ persons and communities around the world; and, the importance of partnership between government and civil society to empower LGBT+ persons and improve access to public services.

The panel took place on Tuesday March 12, 2019, 8:15 – 9:30, at UN Headquarters.

Welcome and opening:

  • Xeenarh Mohammed, Executive Director of the Initiative for Equal Rights, Nigeria

Panel Speakers:

  • Hilary Spencer, the Director of the Gender Equalities Office, UK

Ms. Spencer discussed the UK Government’s experience of running the world-leading national LGBT survey, their transparent and intersectional online viewing tool and three recently launched grant programmes on inclusive public services and sector sustainability.

  • Mariana Winocur, Communications Officer, ARC International

Ms. Winocur’s speech was about “The concept of gender ideology and its effects on public services”. How some conservative/religious groups have rebranded gender ideology and are imposing upon Latin American countries public policies that threaten LGBT rights and put them at risk. What the fight against “gender ideology” has done to public services and hinder access to health, education and other public services in Latin America. Unlike falsehoods that religious/conservatives attribute to gender ideology, what ‘s its real meaning, how it works, and how should it be addressed.

  • Nada Chaiyajit, Legal Advisor, Transpiration Power

Ms. Chaiyajit spoke on filing petitions for transgender persons to access to public facilities in the educational institution, classroom, official event or even public restroom; support for transgender and gender non-conforming people’s access to public health care services; and, access to pro bono services to support LGBTI people on the basis of gender discrimination.

Closing remarks:

  • Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister for Gender Equality.

Watch the panel here.