Asia Catalyst Capacity Building and Community Initiatives Director, Gisa Dang, was in Myanmar to mark the launch of Asia Catalyst’s curriculum, Change It, into the Burmese language. Here she reflects on her experiences in the country, and the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which took place on May 17. _____________________________________________________________________
In Myanmar (Burma) community based organizations (CBOs) have begun to shine light on discrimination and sanctions against marginalized communities in the country. I made my first trip to Yangon in November 2013 as part of Asia Catalyst’s assessment of what Burmese CBOs were asking for in terms of capacity, support and expertise. Our focus was on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, although discrimination is by no means limited to that group.
On my second trip last week, I met many of these individuals and organizations again, and increased exchanges with the LGBT community through our colleagues at human rights organization Equality Myanmar Yangon and Mandalay, and LGBT organizations Colors Rainbow, and the LGBT Rights Network (Network). I also witnessed the launch of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) week in Yangon at the first LGBT photo exhibition that the country has seen. The exhibit opened on Sunday May 11. (more…)
It has been just over one hundred days since the unexpected passing of activist and pioneer Andrew Hunter. As the human rights community comes to terms with the profound loss of a passionate and dedicated leader among its ranks, Asia Catalyst Capacity Building and Community Initiatives Director Gisa Dang takes a moment to reflect on a life well lived.
For world health day, Asia Catalyst called for attention to the situation of medical discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Asia. Anand Grover, UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and Director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS in India, joins in the call with his guest blog post. Anand Grover is pictured to the left. (more…)
World Health Day, which falls on April 7 every year, is a chance to highlight the hurdles which stand between us and the goal of universal access to “the highest attainable standard of health.” For nearly 5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific today, this goal can seem like a distant dream.